Would you take an icy-cold shower for a good cause?
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?