Hundreds of thousands of people are beating the heat this summer with…. Fundraising! If you’re wondering why your Facebook friends are pouring buckets of ice water over their head, it’s because of the Ice Bucket Challenge. In efforts to raise money and awareness for ALS research, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis which is better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, thousands of people are posting videos on social media of themselves dumping a bucket of ice water on their head.

The Ice Bucket Challenge became popular when the friends and family of former Boston College baseball player, Peter Frates, who has ALS, began dousing themselves with water to spread the word about the disease. This cold stunt quickly gained heat after receiving coverage on several national news sources, participation from celebrities such as Adam Levine and Justin Timberlake, and the 10 million everyday social media philanthropists in the last week.

Here’s how it works:

  • Someone films you dumping a bucket of ice water over your head
  • Dare a few friends to do the same within 24 hours
  • If they don’t do it, they to donate to the ALS Association
  • If they end up doing it they can still donate and will have an embarrassing video to show for it

According to the New York Times, through Sunday, the ALS Association said it received $13.3 million in donations since July 29, up from $1.7 million during the same period last year. It also said there were about 260,000 new donors.

How can you take initiative to help this cause or another? Surely, you can dump a bucket of water on your head. Stunt-philanthropists have done some other exciting stunts to raise money, what will you do?

Here’s a story from ESPN about Pete Frates, the inspiration for the Ice Bucket Challenge.

ESPN Featured: Pete’s Challenge