photo by M. Vest

photo by M. Vest

Last night I received a text from a church member and reader of this blog, Linda, to do the ALS ice bucket challenge. Today, the senior pastor and music minister joined me and we three together accepted the challenge. (The video is below).

This challenge has taken social media by storm. It now easily takes up 60-70% of a Facebook feed. It has rose millions of dollars for the ALS foundation – I will be adding to that later today. Also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It is the progressive degeneration of motor neurons that eventually leads to death.  When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is gone, resulting in many patients become totally paralyzed.

People often wonder what they can do to make a difference. Our church staff obviously cannot, on our own, find a cure for ALS. But we can raise awareness of and contribute to raising funds that will support the ground breaking research that is needed. If people were just dumping buckets of ice water on themselves and posting it on Facebook, I too, would begin to ask questions. But, for reasons we may not be able to completely explain, it has worked. And the ALS Association has benefited. 

I hope you will join me in making a donation. Maybe it’s not for this cause, maybe it’s for cancer research or poverty related causes. But get involved, tell the story, and donate.

To make a donation to ALS, and to learn more about the disease, visit the ALS Association’s website.