August 29, 2014, Washington, DC —Today, The ALS Association has topped $100 million in donations from people all over the globe who were moved to action by this summer’s Ice Bucket Challenge. As of August 29, the Association has received $100.9 million in donations compared to $2.8 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 29).
“The word gratitude doesn’t do enough to express what we are feeling right now,” said Barbara Newhouse, President and CEO. “We recognize a profound sense of urgency and are engaged in discussions about how we’re going to put this money to work in the short term and into the future.”
At a support group this past week run by The ALS Association for people living with the disease in southwest Florida, an attendee asked how much the organization had received in donations. When Patricia Stanco, the Regional Care Manager for The ALS Association Florida Chapter told the group how much had been donated, she described what she witnessed in an email to colleagues on August 28: “Jaws dropped. Tears formed. The group was overwhelmed and for a distinct moment, silent. I realized I was witnessing hope. It was so powerful—I will never forget it.”
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. There is no cure and only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that modestly extends survival.
“These funds will be used to fund cutting-edge research as well as care and support to people living with the disease,” said Newhouse. “Now and in the coming weeks, we will be able to enhance our strategic plan, reformulating and recasting strategies with input from stakeholders, including our donors, our chapters, and most importantly, people living with ALS and their families. We want to move quickly but decisively as our ultimate goal is to use this incredible generosity in a way that has the biggest impact on fighting this disease.”
The ALS Association will continue to be transparent by communicating regularly with all audiences as to how the funds will impact the fight against ALS.
The ALS Association has the highest four-star rating from Charity Navigator, is “Top Rated” on Charity Watch, and is a Better Business Bureau accredited charity as well as a Guidestar Exchange gold participant.
The ALS Association’s mission includes providing care services to assist people with ALS and their families through a network of chapters working in communities across the nation and a global research program focused on the discovery of treatments and eventually a cure for the disease. In addition, The Association’s advocacy efforts empower people to advance public policies in our nation’s Capital that respond to the needs of people with ALS.