Fans of late comedy icon Betty White are planning to celebrate what would have been the star’s 100th birthday by organising mass donations to a cause that was very near and dear to her heart — animals.
“The Betty White Challenge” or #BettyWhiteChallenge went viral on social media, such as Facebook and Instagram, after an account suggested celebrating the late actress and animal rights activist’s life by donating money to animal shelters and rescue missions in her honour on 17 January — the date would have marked her 100th birthday.
A 6-January post on the Dogspotting Society’s Facebook suggested that fans of the star honour her on her 100th birthday by donating, even small amounts, to a worthy animal rescue charity in her name. The hope is that the influx of donations will help countless animals around the world find homes and care, which is something the star would have wanted. It didn’t take long before the challenge quickly went viral and was picked up by White’s fans on Twitter and Facebook.
White, the legendary TV actress known for her iconic roles in the Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls, died on 31 December, three weeks shy of her 100th birthday, of natural causes. She was 99.
White was a lifelong animal lover who worked tirelessly to raise money and support various causes. She told Smithsonian Magazine in 2012 that her parents, who were themselves “tremendous animal lovers”, instilled in her a kinship toward all creatures from a young age and “they imbued in me the fact that there isn’t an animal on the planet that I don’t find fascinating and want to learn more about”.
Before pursuing a lengthy career in Hollywood, White even aspired to become a forest ranger, at the time when women were not allowed in the profession. In 2010, the US Forest Service made her an honorary ranger.
Ways to donate to animals:
There are numerous animal rescues, organisations and shelters in Singapore to which you can donate in honour of White. These include SPCA Singapore, Cat Welfare Society, Voices for Animals, Acres Wildlife Rescue, Action for Singapore Dogs, Animal Lovers League, Kittens Sanctuary Singapore and Madam Wong’s Shelter and Friends.
For the challenge, all you need is to donate $5 to any shelter of your choice under White’s name.