SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Local animal shelters are encouraging people to participate in the #BettyWhiteChallenge.

January 17th, 2022, would have been television star, Betty White’s 100th birthday. Although she was mostly known for her starring roles in sitcoms like “The Golden Girls” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, White was a huge animal lover, an advocate for guide dogs, a long-standing board member for the L.A. Zoo, and a recipient of American Humane’s highest honor, the National Humanitarian Medal and the Legacy Award.

In honor of her birthday, people all over the internet were asked to donate at least $5 to a local shelter or rescue. This national call to action has been named “The Betty White Challenge”.

Locally, the Humane Society of Southwest Missouri has seen an increase in donations.

“Even though $5 isn’t much, to us we can make that $20 to $30 and it all stays local,” says Marketing Manager for the Humane Society, Katie Newcomb.

According to Newcomb, donations can be used in various ways.

“Bills, toys, food, and medical funds. Whatever we need for them.”

Newcomb says some people have even walked in to donate and then walk out with a newly adopted pet.

“We’ve been able to really get to know our community a little bit more today,” says Newcomb.

Other rescues and shelters have also received donations throughout the day.

Rescue One has reported having made about $8000 from donations according to their Facebook page at the time of this article being written.

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge raised $5,147.

White’s cause of death was listed as a cerebrovascular accident, which is a loss of blood flow to part of the brain, leading to brain tissue damage. She passed away on New Year’s Eve 2021 at the age of 99.

The death certificate revealed that White suffered the stroke six days before her death.

If you’d like to participate in the challenge, donate to your favorite rescue or shelter. Here are some links to the places above:

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

Humane Society of Southwest Missouri

Rescue One