Betty White Challenge raises millions for animal groups


The Betty White Challenge, a fund raising campaign for animal support groups, was launched to honor the actress, a strong supporter of animal causes, after her Dec. 31 death.

An incredible movement has commenced in honor of Betty White, who recently passed away. White was a beloved actress, known for her roles in many hit television shows and movies. Some of her most notable roles include those in The Golden Girls, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Lorax, The Proposal, and The Lost Valentine.  

White passed away on Dec. 31, 2021, at the age of 99. The actress reportedly suffered from a cerebrovascular accident, or a stroke. NBC Washington reported that a few weeks before her stroke, White told People magazine that she was “so lucky to be in such good health and feel so good at this age.

White’s characters have inspired millions of viewers for generations. Two of her biggest television shows were The Golden Girls, which ran for seven seasons, and its spin-off, The Golden Palace. The awe-inspiring role of Rose Nylund was someone people looked to for comedic relief and pearls of wisdom.

During her lifetime, White received a number of awards for her acting work, including five Emmys, a Golden Apple Award, a Gracie Allen Award, a Teen Choice Award, and a People’s Choice Award.

The talented actress had also written and published several books, some of which were autobiographies, including Betty White in Person and Here We Go Again: My Life in Television. She also published a book called Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo, in which she describes her love and appreciation for animals. White also won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for the audio recording of her book entitled If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t).

White was a member of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, and over the course of her life, she actively participated and donated to many animal-care organizations, as well as many rescues and shelters. “Betty White was a champion for animals and Best Friends Animal Society was lucky enough to receive donations from her for over 20 years,” writes Gael Fashingbauer Cooper of CNET

White’s unconditional love and compassion for animals and their protection led to the rise of a positive movement following her passing. The “Betty White Challenge” encouraged people to donate or reach out to an animal rescue facility to see what they could do to help. Upon learning about this challenge, Olympic Heights junior Olivia Baum exclaimed, “That’s a great cause. I’m sure Betty would have loved it!” 

The challenge quickly took the internet by storm and spread rapidly thanks to White’s fans. Animal shelters and humane societies raised thousands of dollars in donations. People Magazine’s Kelli Bender noted, “After counting their Betty White Challenge donations on Tuesday morning, Tennessee’s Nashville Humane Association found that they received over $50,000 in donations in White’s honor.” 

Animal rescue facilities across the United States saw an increase in donations including the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, the Wisconsin Humane Society, the Animal Care & Control Team of Philadelphia, and many others. However, the challenge extended to other countries such as Canada, and it raised money in several of their shelters as well. “That’s so great, who wouldn’t want to give back to cute little animals?” OH junior Heidi Russell asked.

Overall, White inspired others to spread kindness and help those in need. She had a lot of empathy for animals and for those less fortunate than she was. Her incredible work both on and off screen will be remembered, and hopefully people will continue to help others the way that she did.