We Must Continue the Ice Bucket Challenge

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Ice CubesAccording to The ALS Association’s website (www.alsa.org) “as of Monday, August 25, The Association has received $79.7 million in donations compared to $2.5 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 25). These donations have come from existing donors and 1.7 million new donors to The Association.”

People who are living with ALS are thrilled at the unprecedented success of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and hope that the viral campaign and resulting flood of donations will continue for a long time.

It’s been 75 years since Lou Gehrig gave his famous farewell speech when he retired from baseball because he had ALS. After all these years, there is still no treatment or cure for the disease. Thanks to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the general public now knows, for the first time ever, what ALS is and is donating money—lots of money—to help those who have it.

We Can Save Water, Too 

Some people are complaining that participants in the challenge are wasting water. It’s true that there is a serious drought in the Western United States, especially in California, and we must all be diligent about saving water. That’s why many participants are doing the challenge on their lawns, in other portions of their gardens, or standing in their swimming pools. No water wasted. We can raise awareness and help fund ALS research and be water-conscious at the same time.

Making Sure Donations Go to ALS Research

Others have expressed skepticism about how the donated funds will be spent. A Facebook post that as of August 25 had received over 18,000 likes, claims that in 2012 the ALS Association directed only 7.71% of its budget to research and that 63.63% was dedicated to other program activities, 10.54% to administrative costs, and 18.11% to fundraising. For this reason, the person who wrote the post says he will not participate in the ice bucket challenge, and will not donate money either.

Financial Performance Metrics for The ALS Association and other charitable organizations can be found on Charity Navigator’s website (www.charitynavigator.org). According to their website, Charity Navigator is the nation’s largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities. They have awarded The ALS Association 4 stars for overall performance.

In addition to funding research, The ALS Association provides assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinates multidisciplinary care through Certified Treatment Centers of Excellence, and fosters government partnerships.

You Can Earmark Your Donation For ALS Research

People who go to The ALS Association’s website at http://www.alsa.org/ and click on the “DONATE” button can easily identify whether they are making an ice bucket challenge donation and earmark their donation to go specifically to research by checking the box that states: “I want my donation to be used solely for ALS research.”

People can also do the ice bucket challenge and donate to other ALS charitable organizations.  The person on Facebook who refused to donate money to the ALS Association suggested that people consider donating “to other research-based organizations like Angel Funds…”  Actually, on its website at http://theangelfund.org/ , Angel Fund encourages people to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and donate the funds raised to their organization.

Don’t Stop Now!

Keep dumping that ice water over your heads and making donations to ALS research and programs that assist thousands of people who are living with ALS.  The ALS community is counting on you!