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Making a good cause count

Making a good cause count

I am actually kind of shocked. Shocked at how many people have dumped buckets of icy cold water over their heads to promote ALS Awareness this week.

If you haven’t been on social media lately, the so-called Ice Bucket Challenge started in Massachusetts with former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, who was diagnosed with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in 2012. Frates posted his Ice Bucket challenge video to his Facebook profile and dared some friends to do the same.

Since then, the challenge has gone viral. Everyone who does it gets the chance to nominate pals to take a cold shower of their own. If the nominee can’t rise to the challenge within 24 hours, they are encouraged to make a donation to ALS research, like Barack Obama did when Ethel Kennedy nominated him.

While the story may have been a bit overshadowed by other news this week, the ice bucket challenge has been an enormous success – and a much needed one, too. According to The ALS Association, 50 percent of the American public doesn’t know what ALS is. This one great idea can help change that, and raise money to boot.

A study that scanned more than 2 billion online mentions determined that the number of viewers who saw or read content that referred to the term “ALS” increased 1,007 percent, and viewers that read content that mentioned Lou Gehrig’s Disease increased 1,167 percent from the week of July 30 to the week of August 6, when the contest began. Also, TIME reported that $2.3 million has been raised since July 29 — compared to only $25,000 during the same period last year.

It just goes to show that you can get people to do A LOT when they are doing it for a good cause. For example, every year we help Home Instead Senior Care offices promote their Be a Santa To a Senior program, and it’s always really moving to see the generosity of spirit that people in communities across America show toward seniors in need.

At Albers, we’re really fortunate because we get to tell the story of people giving of themselves to help others all the time (like this video our production crew recently produced in honor of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s National Big Sister of the Year; or the coverage Account Manager Ann Hadfield secured when the Omaha Professional Firefighters Union donated $500 worth of fans to the Salvation Army during a heat wave), and the one thing that all these stories have in common is that they galvanize others to do things that they might not otherwise do on their own.

Like pour a bucket of ice over their crazy head.


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