The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge…Coffee Style : #IceBucketChallenge #StrikeOutALS

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The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge…Coffee Style

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been dominating my social streams for weeks. It is easy to get annoyed at most things that have this viral component, but this is something unique. It is good!

Sure, there are a ton of worthy causes out there, and I do give to many, but the Ice Bucket Challenge is contagious. First of all, I witnessed a strong, burly friend succumb to this horrible disease. I couldn’t imagine going through that myself, let alone watching a family member suffer the same fate. ALS, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It slowly paralyzes its victims, but cruelly leaves the brain function in tact. Learn more at

There are many things that make this phenomenon exceptional, and here are just a few;

  • The challenge didn’t start in a board room, a PR agency, or even from at all. The challenge was already taking place, when an ALS sufferer, Pete Frates, saw an opportunity to link it to ALS, which was one of the most underfunded research programs.
  • Awareness is great, action is better. While being aware of ALS is important (I’ve taught my children about the disease and I’ve thought about it daily for the past 3 weeks) This movement also encourages participants to make a financial contribution or get personally involved in other ways. I’ve challenged some friends, and required them to make donations. (I contacted them privately, so as to not add a public humiliation component)
  • There are tangible benefits. To date, the challenge has inspired people to donate 42 million dollars. Compare that to the 2.1 raised in 2013, during the same time period.

This is a movement to raise funds to support ALS research, and those currently suffering from the disease. It isn’t strictly a fundraiser for ALSA. Some folks have refused to participate, stating moral reasons for not wanting to support embryonic stem cell research. Good news, there are several alternative organizations, who do not participate in this type of research, to donate your funds to. Here are some that I have found…

I’d like to mention that I used water from a nearby river, as well as stale coffee beans.

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