Ice Bucket Challenge brings new wave of volunteers

In terms of numbers, the Ice Bucket Challenge was one of the most successful awareness campaigns in Canadian history. But there’s more to the numbers than the $16,2 million Canadians donated to the cause: the campaign also generated calls and emails from hundreds of people eager to support the ALS Society of Quebec.

“The attention surrounding the Ice Bucket Challenge created an exceptional opportunity for us,” says Claudine Cook, Executive Director of the ALS Society of Quebec. “Not only did we experience a huge spike in interest from people wanting to know more about the neurodegenerative disease and how they could help the Society do its work, but the volunteers who have been with us for some time stepped up to help handle the request for information,  testimonials, the many calls and donations we received. The Ice Bucket Challenge was a very high energy and positive experience that resulted in everyone to pull together in support of our mission.”

Among the many people who started volunteering at the Society are Beverly Carignan who comes to the office three times a week to do clerical work. Roger Marin is now also a regular helping us on a daily basis. Kaitlin Fahey comes to the office weekly to help with data entry. Another volunteer, Diana Cigana, has offered her services to help with the Society’s translation needs.

Some of the more long-standing volunteers, such as Mr. and Mrs. Denizon, who normally spend one day a month at the Society, came in every day to help with the increase in donations that resulted from the Challenge. “We were also able to count on our ambassadors who have ALS or who have been touched by ALS, who generously offered to do media interviews to help educate their audience about ALS,” says Ms. Cook.

How can you get involved?

While the Ice Bucket Challenge was in full swing, the ALS Society of Quebec was also busy organizing its annual Walks for ALS and Ride for ALS in numerous Quebec communities, all of which were supported by volunteers who have been with the organization for years as well as those who had just come on board. “The volunteers’ contribution helps us keep our expenses low and put our financial resources towards the important services we provide to families with ALS,” says Ms. Cook.

One of the most common questions from people who contact the ALS Society of Quebec is: “How can I get involved?” There are a number of ways to volunteer. With choices as varied as organizing events in your own community to offering your business expertise to support the Society’s strategic development, there’s no limit to how you can help the Society achieve its goals.

Ms. Cook also points out fundraising activities organized—such as bake sales to golf tournaments—have been a tremendous support to the Society over the years and many volunteers take great pride in organizing these third party events across the province. Maybe you have a great idea too? Read our step-by-step recommendations in Create your Own Event if you’d like to turn your idea into reality