Non-Profits Defying Expectations: ALS One Year Later

By Gracie Riley
For Unwind magazine

If someone told you to dump a bucket of ice water on your head and upload a video of yourself doing it to social media, would you do it?

During the summer of 2014, 17 million people did just that when they accepted what later become known as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.


However, what started as a trendy and cool thing to do ended up raising about $115 million in 6 weeks, with $77 million designated toward research for ALS.

The other $38 million is being distributed to other departments. Of that, $23 million will go toward creating new facilities to better treat patients with ALS and support their families.

The premise was simple: endure icy temperatures for 30 seconds to raise awareness for an underrated cause, and then challenge a friend to do the same.

The idea behind the Ice Bucket Challenge stemmed from professional golfer, Chris Kennedy, and his sister Jeanette Senerchia, whose husband suffered with the disease.

The pair, from New York, hoped to raise awareness for the cause locally. No one expected the immediate support and vast spread the simple concept would create.

Freshman Julie Mangano, who is enrolled in letters and sciences, was nominated by a friend and recalled her experience saying it was “cold and kind of hard to do because I didn’t have bucket.”

Mangano thought the concept of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge campaign seemed like a fun idea, which is the reason she chose to participate.

The campaign achieved success because “everybody seemed to be doing it, even the celebrities,” Mangano said.

High profile individuals drew more attention to the cause, making it more appealing to complete the challenge and post to social media.

The Ice Bucket Challenge certainly was a summertime “fad,” as sophomore government and politics major Jenny Sapodin described.

Sapodin, who chose to donate to the cause rather than dump ice water on her head, appreciates all the hard work of ALS.

“[I like] that they donated some of the money back to individual communities because ALS affects everybody in the family and it is good to know that will be supported,” she said.

Freshman Christi Casey, a business student, had an unusual ALS Ice Bucket experience. A friend nominated Casey the night before she got her wisdom teeth out.

Since she was unable to splash herself with icy water, Casey put icepacks to her swollen cheeks and donated money to the charity.

Casey said she “would definitely participate in another Ice Bucket Challenge hosted by the ALS organization, but maybe under different circumstances.”

It looks like Casey is going to have another chance because the ALS organization has decided that until there is a cure for the disease, the Ice Bucket Challenge will continue every year.


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