By now you’ve seen it everywhere. On your Facebook feed, Instagram and Twitter. Heck, you’ve probably even poured a bucket of ice cold water on one of your loved ones or even completed the challenge yourself. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is sweeping across social media platforms like wild fire and has taken fundraising efforts to whole new heights.
Thanks to the online phenomenon, the American ALS Association has raised over $31 million in donations this month alone. ALS Canada has even taken down their site temporarily because of the overwhelming response they’ve received from the Ice Bucket Challenge. Not to worry though, they still receive donations. But that’s not the only purpose of the challenge, it’s also about creating awareness. Just a few weeks ago not many of us knew what amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was. But know we now that it’s a terrible neuro-degenerative disease that can affect anyone — no matter what their background or family history is.
The response to this social media movement has been overwhelmingly positive, but make no mistake, there are a lot of critics out there. Some have criticized the online phenomenon as being an online fundraising fad, something that will eventually go away and become completely forgotten. Others believe the movement overshadows other great charity organizations who ultimately lose donations with viral movements like this one. And some just think the Ice Bucket Challenge is a complete waste of water.
“I promise your newsfeed will go back to cat videos and ‘Let It Go’ covers, but right now, the ALS community has the main spotlight. And for once in my entire life, I’ve seen it in the forefront.”
If you’re one of these critics, this video will definitely change your mind. Let me introduce you to Anthony Carbajal. This 26-year-old was just diagnosed with ALS five months ago, a disease that’s been running in this family for generations. The video captures the candid and heartbreaking moments of Carbajal taking care of his mother, who also has ALS.
In an emotional response to critics of the Ice Bucket Challenge, Carbajal reminds everyone not to lose sight of the original purpose of this movement — to spread awareness and collect donations that can lead to ground breaking research. “I promise your newsfeed will go back to cat videos and ‘Let It Go’ covers, but right now, the ALS community has the main spotlight. And for once in my entire life, I’ve seen it in the forefront,” he says.
So if you had to watch just one more #ALSIceBucketChallenge video, grab the tissues and let it be this one.
If you’re interested in donating to the #IceBucketChallenge, donations can be made to ALS Canada.