So You’ve Taken the Ice Bucket Challenge — Now What?
There's no denying the massive impact that the ice bucket challenge has had for the ALS Association. Raising $31.5 million dollars for a single organization in 23 days is a game changer for ALS. But most of us are only able to part with a certain amount of money for charitable donations. So now, as you towel off from your freezing soak and post your video online you may be asking yourself, "What's next for me and ALS?"
If you've hit your out-of-pocket max on donating funds to the ALS Association, there are ways for you to help make an impact locally by giving your time. There is an Iowa chapter of the ALS Association that focuses on fundraising, but also connects ALS patients and their families with services and resources that help with the daily challenges of the disease.
Their Care Connection program offers a way for you to help someone right in your own community. This program matches volunteers with patients to help them complete some of the day-to-day tasks that someone with advanced ALS simply cannot accomplish. The opportunity to mow a lawn or complete grocery shopping may seem overrated, but think of the difference it would make to someone who's lost the ability to do it for themselves. If you want to help for a single afternoon, or once a week -- there are people in our community that you can have a positive impact on.
Throughout the year there are other ways to participate in the effort to defeat ALS. Both the Cedar Rapids Kernels and RoughRiders offer ALS games once a season where a percentage of your admission fee is donated to the ALS Association. There is also the Walk to Defeat ALS in Cedar Rapids in September. If you want to walk to increase awareness, you can get more information here.
Not sure if you’re ready to jump in and make any further commitment right now? You can still keep yourself informed by signing up for the Iowa chapter's newsletter here. They'll keep you informed on ALS research, volunteer opportunities and fundraising events.
This is your opportunity to do more than just jump on a bandwagon. The fight against ALS is going to continue long after summer fades and these videos stop appearing in our news feeds. If you've truly become impassioned for this cause, find a way to become inloved with the Iowa chapter of the ALSA and continue to make a difference.