The Real Story behind the Ice Bucket Epidemic

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photo from google images

 

The Ice Bucket Challenge. Have I done it? No. Would I? Sure, but I would rather give the $100 donation for ALS directly instead as selfies and an all eyes on me video just makes me a bit uneasy. If you look at my past performing for thousands of fans in a stadium and teaching fitness in front of others you would think I love being on point in front of an audience but I much prefer sitting on the sidelines myself. Plus, everyone that knows me knows I hate the cold. I mean really hate the cold – just ask my friends from college. I’m a true wimpy Californian – if it’s below 70 degrees I’m sure snow will be falling within 30 minutes.

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When you think about it football players have been doing this for years to their winning coaches. Should we thank them for the idea? (photo from NFL.com)

The thing I LOVE about the Ice Bucket Challenge however is I believe it is a great example of power in numbers and the sort of peer to peer collaboration this phenomenon has become. It has shown what can be done when you mix a philanthropic mentality, passion, and a jovial spirit for the greater good. Now, combine this with the power of social media and the result is almost unbelievable. Think about it – do you know ANYONE that does not know what the Ice Bucket Challenge is and what it supports? It’s on every social media outlet, in magazines, on the news – everywhere in a matter of weeks. It’s been videoed and uploaded by families affected by ALS, their friends, their co-workers and ultimately making its’ way to the young, the old, the fun, the serious, talk show hosts, celebrities and even those who didn’t even know what ALS is or what those letters mean (yes, that means those of you who said ASL, ACL, AOL, we know there have been many slips).

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Jimmy Fallon has now drenched several of his guests and staff with ice-cold water for the cause (photo from google images)

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Enter the dares. Matt Damon was dared to use toilet water…and he did. Who did he nominate next? My boyfriend, Bono. That one I will have to see. (photo from google images)

It’s raised over $88.5 million. Let’s think about this – $88.5 MILLION in a matter of weeks. This is unprecedented and as someone who has a new non-profit this has fascinated and intrigued me. It’s a true testament that above everything else, people WANT to be kind and do things for the greater good. The nation has rallied together simply through a fun and innovative way to “challenge” their peers to do something uncomfortable for a great cause. It’s really a beautiful thing to watch when you think about it from that perspective.

Sure, the hilarious videos are great. If you haven’t seen it pull up on You Tube the compilation of challenges gone awry and you will certainly get a good laugh. But it’s not the videos that matter but rather that it wasn’t a campaign started by the ALS Association. It was actually started by the youth of America that wanted to support the cause and created a campaign with an element of fun to see what would happen. Little did they know what it would become and the money it would raise for this awful disease.

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can’t deny the creativity of some participants. (photo from google images)

For ISP it has definitely inspired us and got our creative juices going for what we can do to raise awareness for kindness in kids as well as adults. After all we have said from the start that our goal is to inspire others to be kind and philanthropic by making it so much fun everyone will want a piece of the action. A stuffy sit down dinner? Nope. A fun, kids-only 5k obstacle course with a list of things kids would beg for in a PE class or camp? Totally. We can’t give away our secret plans we have been drumming up during our meetings – but we promise, you’ll enjoy it and want to play a part. Now if only we could think of something we could throw on our friends’ heads that would go viral.

Any suggestions?

Kindness Campaign launch starts September 22nd.