The Japan ALS Association said Tuesday that it raised more than 27 million yen in donations in the last two weeks of August thanks to the Ice Bucket Challenge campaign.
The Ice Bucket Challenge is aimed at raising awareness of and money to fight Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, more often known as ALS or Lou Gherig’s Disease. It involves participants dousing themselves with buckets of ice water, and then nominating others to do so.
Individuals who are "challenged" either have to video tape themselves pouring a bucket of bitter cold ice water over themselves and post it online, or donate to the cause, or both. Those who do post videos, are asked to challenge three of their friends who either have to participate, or donate to the cause.
In the two weeks following Aug 18 when the Ice Bucket Challenge first launched in Japan, participants raised 27,470,000 yen in donations for the cause.
At a press conference, the nonprofit Japan ALS Association thanked everyone who participated in the challenge, TBS reported Wednesday.
However, there was some criticism that people were being pressured to take part in the challenger and donate money after being nominated.
Hiroki Okabe, the vice chairman of ALS Japan, said there had been some complaints about the "nominate three other friends" rule of the bucket challenge. Many worried that the effect is not unlike "chain mail," and may possibly lead to bullying among children, he said, according to TBS. Others accused celebrities of taking part just for publicity.
"We ask that those challenging three of their friends get permission from them beforehand. We want the challenge to be reasonable and fun for all participants," he said. "It is our hope that viral awareness and fundraising campaigns such as the Ice Bucket Challenge will continue in the future. This is just the first step in curing ALS and other diseases like it."© Japan Today