For those who may not know (but how can you not?!), the #IceBucketChallenge is to generate and perpetuate awareness of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. There has been plenty written about the #IceBucketChallenge, from its origin to its connection to Pete Frates, the former Boston College baseball star who was stricken with the disease.
The simple action of taking the challenge and/or donating, filming it and sharing with friends shows just how effective social media can be: from me, Stephen Ciaccio, your friendly neighborhood blogger taking the challenge, to Dierks Bentley’s band members, who were in Foxboro over the weekend completing their challenge. It has already made it onto The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, thanks to Justin Timberlake’s challenge. Social media doesn’t discriminate based on fame–or in my case, lack thereof.
No matter the amount of followers you have, if you seek out a great cause and have an idea to aid in raising awareness, social media can be your friend. The #IceBucketChallenge may not cure ALS on its own, but it will increase understanding, and with more knowledge comes more donations, which in turn will help out the doctors that are trying to find a cure for this awful disease. There are some reports saying that donations to the ALS site alone, not including specific branches of funds like Pete Frates‘, have reached over $1.3 million since July 29th, around the time the #IceBucketChallenge started.
This huge trend goes to show the power of social media. It went from individual challenges to celebrity challenges, team challenges and company challenges. It really has hit all types of groups and audiences. Granted that the #IceBucketChallenge began to create awareness for ALS, companies and brands should embrace the likes of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and not avoid them.
Below, check out some of our own Reganites participating in the challenge (many of us donated, too!)