Would you take an icy-cold shower for a good cause? Two women get doused during the ice bucket challenge at Boston's Copley Square to raise funds and awareness for the disease called ALS (- AP photos)
Would you take an icy-cold shower for a good cause?
Lexile

The idea is simple: Take a bucket of ice water, dump it over your head, record it and post the video on social media.

It's cold, it's fun and it's contagious. But these ice bucket challenges and similar stunts are raising awareness and money for causes such as Lou Gehrig's disease, breast cancer and a camp for kids who have lost their fathers to war.

Martha Stewart has been doused. So has Matt Lauer. And pro golfer Greg Norman.

The phenomenon to raise funds asks those willing to douse themselves to challenge others to do the same within 24 hours. If they don't, they must make a donation to a certain charity. Each person who participates nominates more friends, who nominate more friends, who nominate still more friends.

The movement has taken the Boston area by storm. Friends and relatives of former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates used it to raise awareness about Lou Gehrig's disease. Frates was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease, also known as ALS, in 2012. Frates, 29, is now paralyzed, eats through a feeding tube and cannot talk.

On Thursday, his parents, Nancy and John Frates, joined 200 people who doused themselves in Copley Square. The couple said the ice bucket challenge has done more to increase understanding about ALS than anything they've done over the past two years.

"Who knew all it would take was a bag of ice and a bucket?" John Frates told the crowd. That was just before participants poured 9-quart buckets of ice water over their heads.

Similar challenges have attracted athletes, politicians, doctors, accountants and construction workers. They can take all sorts of forms: There are no-makeup selfies to raise money for cancer causes and cold-water plunges for kids' camps.

Lauer got soaked with ice water last month after Norman challenged him and ended up kicking in some cash for the Hospice of Palm Beach County, in Florida.

Operation 300 is a foundation in Stewart, Florida, that hosts a camp for kids who lost their fathers to war. The foundation gets support from local firefighters, one of whom decided to put his money where his mouth was: Pay $50 and avoid the icy dousing or get wet and pay $20.

Since the spring, the foundation has raised about $15,000 from the ice water challenge.

There can be dangers. Authorities in Camden Township, Minnesota, said 16-year-old Davis Colley drowned in May when he jumped in a lake as part of a challenge, and in some states, police warned parents and kids to avoid jumping into frigid or fast-moving waters.

Critical thinking challenge: Why do crazy stunts like these motivate people to contribute to charities?

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COMMENTS (10)
  • hannahsmith
    8/19/2014 - 08:40 a.m.

    This challenge has raised awareness and funds for these charities. Its a great idea, and fun too. People all over facebook and social media are posting these videos. However, participents shoukd be careful of how far they take the challenge. Its one thing to pour cold water over your head, and another to jump into an icy lake.

  • Aw2001soccer
    9/05/2014 - 01:26 p.m.

    The ice bucket challenge is a great way to show awareness for ALS, Breast Cancer etc. I think people do the challenge because they think its just all fun and games but it actually isn't, its meant to raise money and show awareness for diseases even though its fun to do it and fun to watch your friends get ice water dumped on their head but its a lot more then that and I hope people realize that

  • daynaf-Koc
    9/09/2014 - 01:19 a.m.

    I think it takes a challenge to get people to contribute to certain fundraisers such as this one, because people like to take part in things. For example relay for life, run for breast cancer and so on. Charities that ask for participation in things really cash out. I myself have participated in relay for life, walk/run for breast cancer, and this very ALS ice bucket challenge and each time I donated, not only because "It's for a good cause," but I also get to enjoy the events that takes place. It's all about putting action into what you support and these charities and challenges do exactly that.

  • Alliyahv-Fre
    9/09/2014 - 01:12 p.m.

    I think people ( including me ) do crazy stunts like this because they want to raise awareness, its exciting, and contagious. I know from experience that the ice bucket challenge is fun, so do many other people. But I think the cause gets lost when so many people do this, and not very many people know what ALS is, I didn't really know what it was until i was told about it. It is a really cool thing to do to raise awareness though.

  • baxterc4
    9/19/2014 - 12:49 p.m.

    I think that the ice bucket challenge is a good cause ! You are raising awareness for people in need . I would do it for fun and to raise money for a good cause .

  • bush4
    9/19/2014 - 12:50 p.m.

    I think the ice bucket chanllenge is a good cause ! Because you can raise money for different things and help out the people that is need .

  • diamondj4
    10/01/2014 - 10:41 a.m.

    This about people doing the ice challenge. They are doing it for there dad that has been in the was to support thm. I would not do it because my weave will get wet.

  • ne2001bieber
    10/22/2014 - 01:12 p.m.

    Crazy stunts like this motivate people because it's something fun to do. It's fun and a good cause. People also like doing adventurous things. You have to challenge people also so more people will do it.

  • dw12345
    3/09/2015 - 11:21 a.m.

    People do these things for good things so they dotfhe ALS challenge and they see other people do it al, that then causes a chain reaction for other people to do it to.

  • A'Keera1
    3/09/2015 - 11:34 a.m.

    Because most people don't want to douse themselves in cold water with ice. SO if they get nominated, they would much rather just pay the money.

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