There is a free mobile application that allows users to promote their health and help those in need. One of them is Charity Miles, whose corporate sponsors donation to charity based on users` physical activity. Bikers earn 10 cents per mile, and walkers and runners 25 cents. The app is mutually beneficial, as businesses can make social contributions through charity groups, while participants can take care of their health while helping needy people.
StickK.com, which was set up by a group of Yale University professors in 2008, is a web-based service that links people`s living habits and donations. In this service, people sign contracts with StickK.com, obliging them to achieve their personal goals such as losing weight or quitting smoking by a deadline they set. An interesting point is that participants can choose an anti-charity option similar to fines in order to motivate themselves. If one fails to achieve his or her goal, the contracted money will be used to help a political party or an organization that he or she opposes.
Among ever diversifying methods of donations and fundraising, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a creative example. It is a donation event aimed at enhancing social awareness of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig`s disease. The challenge dares nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water dumped on their heads and post the footages on social networking services sites, challenges three other people to do the same. Those challenged are expected to pour a bucket of water on themselves or make donations to the ALS Association. It is the general trend that they do both. Participants have included technology gurus such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg and celebrities including pop star Lady Gaga, soccer player Lionel Messi and golf player Tiger Woods.
The challenge has arrived in South Korea, too. The goal is help finance a project to build a hospital for Lou Gehrig`s disease. Participants include actor Cho In-sung, singers Sean and Choi Si-won and Park Seung-il, a former professional basketball coach who has been suffering from the diseases since 2002. Park, who cannot even move a finger, showed a special event of having a snow spray used on him instead of a bucket of cold water. His message "If you can take an ice cold water shower, you are a happy person" is so permeating. Changing the world -- It is not an individual event but a team sport requiring all members to unite forces.