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Ice Bucket Challenge brings donations, awareness for ALS

Published: Thursday, Aug. 14 2014 4:47 p.m. MDT

Updated: Thursday, Aug. 14 2014 4:47 p.m. MDT

Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien, center, Chief Operating Officer Cal McNair, right, and Houston Chronicle reporter Brian Smith, left, pour ice cold water over their head after an NFL football training camp practice Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014, in Houston. The three were challenged to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money for the ALS Association. The challenge, a social media phenomenon, is part of a program launched by the ALS Association to raise money for fighting ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Participants challenge others on video to do it or donate money to ALS before dumping ice cold water over their heads. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

David J. Phillip, AP

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You may have seen videos of Matt Lauer, Justin Timberlake and your Facebook friends soaking themselves with a bucket of ice water this summer, and it's for a good cause.

The Ice Bucket Challenge began as a social media experiment to raise awareness for ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease), and has since raised money for ALS, breast cancer and a camp for children whose fathers were killed in war, according to The Huffington Post.

The challenge includes dumping a bucket of ice water on yourself and donating $10 to ALS while nominating a few friends to do the same. If someone doesn't accept the challenge within 24 hours, he or she is asked to make a $100 donation to ALS or one of the other organizations.

According to NBC, the challenge started with former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2012.

The Huffington Post reported that Frates is now paralyzed, cannot speak and eats through a feeding tube.

Many social experiments don't effectively reach audiences, but according to Elite Daily, Barbara Newhouse, president of the ALS Association, said the ice bucket challenge has generated over $168,000.

Last year, the organization received $15,000.

In a recent video, Gabriella Palko, whose father, Kreg, has ALS, nominated herself for the ice bucket challenge, and her father followed suit.

Kreg Palko expressed his gratitude for those who have donated to ALS, saying he's thankful for the people who've drawn attention to this cause.

Megan Marsden Christensen writes for the Faith and Family sections. She recently graduated from BYU-Idaho with a bachelor's degree in communication.

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