Ice-cold water helps raise funds for ALS

Over the past year, social media campaigns involving cold-water-based challenges have been all the buzz.

The spring season brought Facebook pages everywhere a challenge that involved jumping into a cold body of water, but that did not attract the same amount of participation as the recent ALS Ice Bucket Challenge currently sweeping the celebrity ranks. From Michael Jordan to Lady Gaga to Mark Wahlberg, it seems like everyone has done it. It’s even reached Missouri Southern, with faculty members, staff and students donating cash and accepting the challenge to have a bucket of ice water dumped over their heads.

The challenge began as a way to raise awareness, as well as funds, for ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. According to the ALS website, the disease “is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.” It eventually leads to total paralysis and death. There is no cure.

 While some members of the Facebook community have complained about videos of the challenge on their newsfeeds, the majority of people have been supportive.

“I think the challenge is a great thing,” said Dustin Foster, junior education major. “While I haven’t done the challenge yet (it will be done soon), I believe it is for a good cause and that it spreads awareness of ALS. It’s also fun to watch some of the videos.”

As of Aug. 26, more than $88 million had been raised since the inception of the Ice Bucket Challenge, according to the ALS website. The website also reports that just over $2 million was raised over the same stretch of time (July 29-Aug. 26) in 2013.