SPOKANE, Wash. - By all accounts, the Ice Bucket Challenge has been a staggering success, raising millions of dollars and priceless awareness for ALS research but why has this challenge worked so well compared to other viral fundraising ideas?
The Ice Bucket Challenge is dominating our Facebook feeds right now; your friends are doing it, celebrities are doing it and new videos show up every day. How much is this challenge uniting us? Consider this: Tuesday, Britney Spears and President George W. Bush were doing the exact same thing -- pouring freezing cold water over their heads.
This type of viral fundraising is not new, but we've never seen anything quite like this. More than two million people have shared the videos over the last few weeks. So, what makes this different?
An article in the Huffington Post Wednesday explores some ideas. For one, it's simple. We all have access to ice, water and a computer or smart phone. It's easy to get involved.
Also, Americans like a challenge. If your friend does it and tags you, you want to step up. And, you can't deny the celebrity factor. Once people like Tom Cruise and Lady Gaga got in on the act, it was even more fun for the rest of us to get involved, too.
Finally, it's a great cause and especially close to the hearts of many in Eastern Washington right now. While much of the world will never know someone with ALS, the death of former Shadle Park High School volleyball coach Linda Sheridan reminds us that this disease can take someone we love in a matter of months. And, Spokane native Steve Gleason is our living reminder of how this disease can strike even the most healthy people among us.
Yes, there's backlash. Yes, we're inundated right now. And, some people completing the challenge in California are being shamed because of the drought there. But, here's the way I see it: Until Steve Gleason, who is living with ALS, says he's sick of the challenge, I'm still very much on board.