OTs on Ice: Who is Taking the Ice Bucket Challenge?

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AOTA's Checking the Pulse blog is written by digital editor Stephanie Yamkovenko who reads hundreds of health and policy articles weekly to find the most engaging and enlightening content. Go beyond the news and learn how it affects OT.

OTs on Ice: Who is Taking the Ice Bucket Challenge?

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By now I’m sure you’ve seen a video (or a hundred) of people pouring ice water over their heads. What’s going on?

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viral! The challenge started on July 29 as a way to raise funds to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as “Lou Gehrig's Disease.”

Everyone is doing it.

Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon. Oprah Winfrey. Taylor Swift. Mark Zuckerberg did it and challenged Bill Gates who followed through. Senator Murkowski of Alaska jumped into ice-cold Alaskan water.

The New Orleans Saints have taken the challenge in support of Steve Gleason, a former Saints player who has ALS. Coach Sean Payton, QB Drew Brees, and others have all poured ice water over their heads to raise awareness and funds for ALS.

 ALS Association reports that as of today, it has raised $15.6 million in donations from existing donors as well as 300,000+ new donors! (Compare that to raising $1.8 million during the same time period last year and you can see how much of an affect this social media campaign has had!).

Occupational therapy practitioners and students are also joining in on the challenge. We’ve seen videos and photos from Lora Woo, Heather Kitching, Yvonne Randall, Wendy Churchill Hildenbrand, and George Pusey.

Our friends at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) joined in on the challenge this weekend as well! They have also challenged AOTA to participate, so stay tuned for that! **hint hint**

“We have never seen anything like this in the history of the disease,” said Barbara Newhouse, President and CEO of The ALS Association in a press release. “We couldn’t be more thrilled with the level of compassion, generosity and sense of humor that people are exhibiting as they take part in this impactful viral initiative.”

We love how the group harnessed the power of social media to spread awareness and raise funds.

Have you participated? Share a link to your video or photo in the comments.

To comment, please log in to OT Connections (it's free to join!).

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    Keiser University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida instructors challenged their classes to complete the ALS ice bucket challenge. Once the challenge is received the person or group has to comply within 24 hours. A donation goes to the ALS foundation for each completed challenge.

    Congratulations to the May 2014 OTA and December 2014 OTA cohorts for accepting this challenge. The OTA program in Fort Lauderdale campus has now challenged all OTA programs at all our sister campuses to participate!