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?

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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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  • 08Avery-May
    8/13/2014 - 02:55 p.m.

    WOW!!!!! I would never do that but i think that it is a great idea.Also for a great cause. Great idea !!!! I would totaly help out with that.

  • 20Hagen-May
    8/13/2014 - 03:18 p.m.

    Wow that sounds fun and its a amazing way to raise money for charities.Also it's amazing how even celebritys are also doing it.Like Martha Stewart

  • Makarena1993
    8/13/2014 - 06:23 p.m.

    This article is about an initiative of taking a bucket of ice water, dumping it over your head, recording it and posting the video on social media in order to cause 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. The movement takes place in Boston.

    About the question of the critical thinking I believe that any action which is done to motivate people about diseases and other relevant aspects of the society is very important and valued because it creates awareness and motivates people to help. Especially that action mentioned in the article because it is fun and attracts people's attention.

    From my point of view as I said before it is so important to create new strategies to motivate people to help, because there is a number of people who is suffering from diseases or other causes and they need some help from the society.

  • Jason0421-YYCA
    8/13/2014 - 06:59 p.m.

    I think that it is funny and a good idea for people to dunk water on their heads. It's a good idea because doing crazy stunts can make want other people want to give charity money. I think that it is funny because people don't usually dunk ice water so that they can vain charity money. I think that doing this will really show awareness to people who have diseases and cancer.
    Critical thinking challenge: Why do crazy stunts like these motivate people to contribute to charities?
    Answer: I think that doing crazy stunts motivate people to contribute to charities because people don't usually do crazy things.

  • 10Kaleb-May
    8/14/2014 - 02:33 p.m.

    Its wierd that people would take icy cold shower but its for a good cause.Rightithink it is? it ia wierd right.

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    8/14/2014 - 09:29 p.m.

    This looks refreshing rather than cold because these days the weather is hot. This is a good idea to have fun and raise money for people with diseases. I would do this to support and become involved. Also, this motivates people to raise money for the charity. If I did it, then it would be like I had just performed a stunt in public. I would do this even if I did not want to get wet. At least you would be doing something to help.
    Critical Thinking Challenge: Why do crazy stunts like these motivate people to contribute to charities?
    Answer: Crazy stunts like these motivate people to contribute because it makes them feel like they have to be involved so they participate and contribute to charities.

  • Marquezlovett
    8/19/2014 - 08:59 a.m.

    This is very different from the new ''challenges'' people are coming up with. This could be e a bad idea because you could potently get hypothermia.

  • patriciass
    8/19/2014 - 01:44 p.m.

    I think that people feel motivated about this act of charity because it's an unusual, easy and funny way to contribute and help others. People just have to be prepare to receive cold water. Although water is cold, it is refreshing. It's just to tolerate 1 minute for people who need and suffer more than one minute.

  • 14EmmaL-May
    8/19/2014 - 02:30 p.m.

    I think this is cool. There making money for a good reason! But some stuff they talked abut they said was dangerous. This a very cool artical though. And they have raised tons of money for kids this is why its a great artical!

  • madisonm-Sch
    8/20/2014 - 01:59 p.m.

    I think it would be fun to dump ice cold water on myself and record it. It would be fun and and you could cool off. Its nice that they do fundraisers with the ice to help get money for others.

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