Doing Good Together

Can the Ice Bucket Challenge Really Help Cure ALS?

If you’ve visited Facebook lately, you’ve probably seen quite a few videos of your friends dumping ice on their heads. In case you’re still wondering why they’re doing this, it all began a few weeks ago when former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates issued the “Ice Bucket Challenge” to his friends to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a disease from which he suffers.

From there, it went viral. As friends challenge each other to either dump buckets of ice on their heads within 24 hours or donate $100 to fight ALS, it has spread from Pete and the Boston College community to Justin Timberlake…

And Jimmy Fallon…

To Ethel Kennedy…

And finally to Barack Obama, who passed on doing the challenge and decided to donate instead.

As of August 12, the ALS Association reports that it has received $4 million in donations since the challenge began on July 29, compared to $1.12 million last year, and added more than 70,000 new donors to the cause.

But this viral fundraiser has its fair share of skeptics who wonder whether or not it’s actually helping find a cure for this fatal disease. According to Barbara Newhouse, President and CEO of The ALS Association, the Ice Bucket Challenge isn’t just about the money.

"While the monetary donations are absolutely incredible,” said Newhouse, “the visibility that this disease is getting as a result of the challenge is truly invaluable. People who have never before heard of ALS are now engaged in the fight to find treatments and a cure for ALS."

If you’d like to get involved but an ice bath isn’t your style, support the ALS Association when you shop on eBay! You can add the ALS Association as your favorite charity, sell items to benefit them or simply donate.