Real challenge is beyond ice buckets

Updated: 2014-08-28 07:01

By Wu Yixue(China Daily)

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Real challenge is beyond ice buckets

The Ice Bucket Challenge has taken China's entertainment and executive worlds by storm after making its debut more than a week ago, with public reading of the news on Sina weibo, China's Twitter-like social media platform, crossing 2.9 billion hits in just a few days.

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The campaign has drawn the attention of wide spectrum of people and even raised donations for research into a degenerative disease. But there is something more important than money and short-lived attention that such campaigns demand.

Since it was first launched in the United States a couple of months ago, the charity promotion campaign has drawn in many prominent figures, from former US president George W. Bush and Facebook founder Mack Zuckerberg to former Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Lady Gaga. From the US the campaign spread to Australia and New Zealand and then to the rest of the world.

The Ice Bucket Challenge was originally aimed at raising public awareness for and encouraging donations for research into AlS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the most common of the five motor neuron diseases, which are degenerative neurological disorders marked by weakening of the muscles and difficulty in speaking, walking, swallowing and even breathing. The challenge requires participants to be filmed while pouring a bucket of ice water on their heads and challenging others to do the same. People who fail to take the challenge have to donate $100 to the ALS Association. In the US, hundreds of thousands of people have donated more than $40 million so far.

In China, the campaign had raised more than 8.5 million yuan ($1.38 million) for China-Dolls Center for Rare Disorders by Aug 22, more than four times the amount (about 2 million yuan) the non-profit organization received during the whole of last year. Apart from the increase in donations, the campaign has made more people aware about the suffering of ALS patients.

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