Betty White’s legacy lives on.
Fans are honoring The Golden Girls actress, who died in her home on Dec. 31 just weeks shy of her 100th birthday on Jan. 17, by participating in the #BettyWhiteChallenge. The unofficial endeavor celebrates White’s passion for animals by encouraging fans to donate to animal shelters.
A post on the dog lovers’ Facebook group Dogspotting Society reads:
“On Betty White’s 100th birthday, January 17th, everyone should pick a local rescue or animal shelter in your area and donate just $5 in Betty White’s name. Make her 100th birthday the movement she deserves.”
Twitter was also flooded with people proclaiming their participation in the #BettyWhiteChallenge.
One wrote, “Betty White was an animal advocate all her life. If all of Betty’s fans donated just $3.00 to an animal rescue, imagine how many animals would be saved in honor of Betty White.” Another added, “Please join me for #BettyWhiteChallenge and let’s all make a better start for the precious animals in 2022. I know where I’m going and what I’m bringing in addition to $. Treats toys and blankets.”
White has worked with many animal charity organizations over the course of her life, such as the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, the Morris Animal Foundation and Actors and Others for Animals, and The Marine Mammal Centers.
Of her passion for animals big and small, she told TV Guide in 2009, “I’ve loved animals since I was in the womb. I was the lucky little girl who had parents who went for a walk and they’d come home with a dog or a cat. ‘He followed us home, Betty. Can we keep him?’”
The TV icon even used a 1993 episode of Golden Palace, a spin-off of The Golden Girls, to spread awareness about greyhound racing. In the episode, her character Rose learned that a greyhound would be put down if she lost a race, prompting Rose to steal the dog and send her to the National Greyhound Adoption Program.
At a 2006 PaleyFest panel, White explained of the episode, “To this day, all the greyhound rescue people tell me that it did more good for their cause than anything else in the world. It’s written as a comedy, and it’s written through the good-heartedness of getting the story across.”
The National Greyhound Adoption Program applauded White for spreading awareness of the issue.
Of her love of animal volunteer work, White joked to Parade magazine in 2013, “I have this very expensive habit. Thankfully, my work makes it possible for me to support and volunteer my time with many different animal welfare organizations.