Longtime actress Betty White died Dec. 31, shattering the growing anticipation for her 100th birthday on Jan. 17.
But her death proved the start of an increase in charitable donations for humane societies across the nation.
Over the last two weeks, #bettywhitechallenge has begun trending on social media. The challenge consists of supporting local humane societies with a $5 donation, and it’s set to culminate on her birthday with an online event Monday.
White had long been an advocate for animal rights and a supporter of the Humane Society of America, and Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane, told Good Morning America on Jan. 6 that donations had already started to increase.
The Humane Society of North Central Florida will join humane societies across the nation to honor White and promote the work she loved.
Margo DeConna, director of advancement at the Humane Society of North Central Florida, told Larry Wilson, morning DJ on 106.9 I Am County, that calls had already started coming in from people who wanted to know how to donate in honor of White.
“I just want to thank Betty White, honestly, for everything she’s done for everyone across the world,” DeConna said. “She leaves this legacy for rescues and shelters like the Humane Society of North Central Florida all over the country.”
She added that the Humane Society of North Central Florida is large, housing more than 400 animals and working with 20 counties.
That work comes at a cost that donations and volunteers help bridge.
DeConna said people who can’t afford to give money after the holiday season can donate items like dog and cat food, litter, litter scoops and other supplies listed on its website. Visitors can also find steps to donating.
White was a television pioneer whose storied career spanned eight decades. She won eight Emmys and is perhaps best known for her roles on the Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls.