Two years ago a unique challenge swept the nation. People were dumping buckets of ice water on their heads and posting the videos online. It spread across social media like wildfire as people nominated friends and family members to keep the trend going. But what was the point?

It started as an effort to raise awareness and money for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also knows as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, research. The cause frequently got lost in the challenge, though.  While trying to get your friend to willingly (or by peer pressure) dump a bucket of ice water on her head, it was easy to forget the reason why. 

Media outlets and talking heads often criticized the viral campaign for losing the meaning, but they were wrong. We’re now seeing the incredible results of the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Results of the Ice Bucket Challenge After 2 Years

The fundraising campaign raised over $100 million in 30 days. That’s an amazing accomplishment on its own, but what that money did is even more meaningful.

Some of those funds raised by the Ice Bucket Challenge went to supporting a research project called Project MinE. That research has now discovered a genetic breakthrough. It identified the NEK1 gene tied to 3% of ALS cases and is significant in many more.

Brian Frederick, executive vice-president of communications and development at the ALS Association described the significance in an article for The Guardian, “because it helps us understand what’s triggering this and can help us better find a treatment.” 

Proof You Can Make A Difference

The Ice Bucket Challenge is more proof of how you can make a difference in the world. We love stories like this because they offer tangible hope and highlight the importance of being part of something larger than yourself. 

The good news is that you don’t always have to dump a bucket of ice-cold water on your head to make a difference. There are ways all around you. There are local, national, and international causes that would love your support. Find one that fits your unique passions. 

Your actions matter. You can make a difference.

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