During the month of August, we were all captivated by one thing: seeing our friends, family, celebrities and strangers pour icy water over their heads in a series of viral videos. Weird how we amuse ourselves, right?
While there was certainly a dose of humor to be had with the Ice Bucket Challenge, we never forgot it was for a very serious, under-publicized cause: ALS. Also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, this fatal condition causes motor neurons from the brain to the spinal cord to slowly degenerate. Sadly, there is no cure, and not enough funding to help the 30,000 Americans with this condition.
But with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, many have managed to not only raise awareness for the disease, but also a lot of donations. As of the end of August, countless videos prompted donations of more than $100 million by three million individuals–and the challenge has no end date.
And in case you missed any of the action on the video front, here’s a spattering of the must-see ice bucket pours:
The One That Started It All
Anthony’s emotional story about his ALS family ties made us cry–and caused the challenge to reach a fever pitch last month. You don’t realize how scary a condition that hasn’t touched your life really is, until you watch it through someone else’s eyes. This video put the deadly condition into perspective for all of us.
The Ones That Made Us Laugh
Funnyman Chris Pratt had his own unique take on the challenge, playing on the “ice” theme as much as possible. For a good cause, naturally.
And even Tom Cruise got in on the fun by taking on the challenge with the help of a few more ice buckets than usual.
The One That Took the Ice Bucket Challenge In An Actual Ice Bucket
Former wrestler turned actor, Dave Bautista, was nominated by Chris Pratt to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. He decided to take it a step further and actually sit in an ice bath while getting ice cold water dumped on his head.
The One With Father and Daughter
Father-daughter duo Kreg and Gabriella Palko uploaded an Ice Bucket Challenge, completing the task as a pair. The video was especially memorable because it was personal: Kreg has the disease. His simple sentiment was overwhelmingly touching: “I can’t stand by and watch everyone pour ice on their heads without joining in myself,” he says. “Thank you everyone on behalf of all of us who have ALS. Thank you.”
The One From Our Favorite Heartthrob
While on location in Canada filming his new documentary about the effects of carbon emissions, Leonardo DiCaprio took time out from one cause to support another with his ALS video (accepting a challenge from buddy David Beckham). On top of that, Leo donated an amazing $100,000 to the cause through his foundation. A heartthrob with a heart of gold? Love it.
The One With the Moving “Thank You”
To sum up what the challenge has meant to those suffering with ALS, 10-year survivor Lorri Knox Carey explained it with a moving gratitude in her video. She says: “When you have a fatal disease that doesn’t have a cure, it’s on your mind 24/7. But to see people who are not associated with the disease in any way, to see celebrities and politicians raise their buckets in the fight against ALS, to talk about it, to share videos, to have conversations and donate, it is completely emotionally overwhelming. It is like everyone else has come into our world. So thank you.”
To the men and women living with ALS, we salute your abilities to fight a frightening disease with courage and grace. And to the rest of us, let’s not forget about this amazing, worthy cause, long after our ice buckets are empty.
If you haven’t yet donated, or made a video, there’s still time. In fact there’s always time to help a great cause. For more information about the Ice Bucket Challenge, visit the ALS Association’s FAQ.