The successes of fundraising on social media

KIMT News 3 – If you’re on social media, there’s a good chance you’ve seen some of your friends douse themselves with icy water this week.

It’s called the “Ice Bucket Challenge”, and it’s one of the many social media crazes we have seen recently. The way it works is, an organization sends out a challenge. Those who support the cause, will film themselves doing something like a plunge, or covering themselves with icy water. After they make their post, they will then nominate friends to do the same.

The chilly charade of the “Ice Bucket Challenge” isn’t just for fun, it’s all a part of a new effort to raise awareness, and bring in donations for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The ALS Association reports that last year the organization raised $22,000 in just one month. In that same time frame this year, with the help of social media, the ALS Association has raised more the $1.35 million for the cause.

Jessica Liebenstein, an ALS care coordinator tells us that, “a lot of people don’t know how they can help, and that by posting these videos, they are helping in raising awareness about the disease.”

ALS isn’t the only disease in the social media limelight. Hayden’s Hope, an organization devoted to raising awareness about Fredreich’s Ataxia (FA), challenged Facebook followers to take a dip in a frozen lake this past winter. Many did, and donations came flying in from all across the area.

Sarah Despenas, founder of the organization and mother of Hayden Despenas, a Mason City boy with FA, says she was, “amazed at how many people were out there for Hayden’s Plunge.”, Many of them were people they didn’t even know. She believes this is just the beginning for social media fundraising. Despenas says she hopes the ideas continue to come about, and that they keep getting even more creative.

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