On January 17, acclaimed actress Betty White would have celebrated her 100th birthday. Bett White, a well-known animal lover, and advocate, unfortunately, passed away aged 99 on the last day of the year; December 31, 2021.
White’s passing made headlines all over the world, well known for her many years on TV in Quizzes, sitcoms, and many movies, friends and family decide to launch “The Betty White Challenge”. The campaign encouraged her fans to donate $5 to an animal charity in White’s in honor of the Golden Girls star’s birthday.
The campaign was a huge success. According to Facebook and Instagram, more than 390,000 people had donated to the challenge by January 21.
Altogether, they raised USD12.7 million for various animal organizations.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BCSPCA) raised more than $400,000 in donations through the challenge, the Calgary Humane Society, also in Canada, was handed more than $91,000 as part of the Betty White Challenge, leaving the animal rescue “speechless.”
Animal Care & Control Team of Philadelphia, the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, Ventura County Animal Services, the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha, and the Nashville Humane Association all of them received around $50,000 each.
The Mohawk Hudson Humane Society received a donation of more than $50,000, the Wisconsin Humane Society was given more than $60,000. “
All the organizations expressed their gratitude for the tremendous wake of kindness that will help animals and the people who love them.
A post on White’s official Instagram page wrote: “As we continue to see numbers coming in from all over the world – it’s just absolutely how much money all of you raised for the animals.”
However, the challenge brought much more than monies; The San Diego Humane Society adopted more than 250 rescue animals around the late actor’s birthday.
White was known for her many contributions to animal welfare causes and had made her feelings towards animals clear over the years.
“I just like animals better than people, it’s that simple,” she once told Entertainment Tonight in 2015.
“What a privilege to be honored simply for my passion — for what I love most in the world —animals.”
White’s last companion was a golden retriever named Pontiac who passed away back in 2017. The comedian didn’t adopt another pet after that, PEOPLE revealed. White’s executive personal assistant Kiersten Mikelas told the outlet that White didn’t “want to bring in somebody new” because she didn’t “want to leave them behind” when she died.
White was also a fervent supporter of zoos and conservation and education programs. In fact, she volunteered at the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association for over 40 years as a trustee and a chairwoman.
The actor had helped fund the animal exhibits for gorillas, elephants, and chimpanzees. In 2011, she released a book about her experiences, called Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo.
Many animal sanctuaries and non-profits across the world require support, including in Australia, Cambodia, Canada, India, Indonesia, the Netherlands, South Africa, the UK, and the US, to name a few.