(WGHP) — A charity to honor Betty White is trending across the country.
Days after her death “The Betty White Challenge” went viral online, encouraging people to donate to local animal shelters on Jan. 17, which would have been her 100th birthday.
If you have been on social media at all in the last few days, it’s likely you have heard of the “Betty White Challenge,” asking people to make a $5 donation to a local humane society.
The challenge started four days ago. Since then, the Forsyth Humane Society has received more than $18,000 in donations.
“Over two days, which is unprecedented, and we are so grateful,” said Carrie Dupree, the development coordinator of the Forsyth Humane Society.
Dupree helps oversee the 400 animals in the shelter right now and is preparing to care for more than 6,000 this year.
She says the challenge has brought much-needed attention to local shelters in the community, and they haven’t seen this much support in a while.
“Vet expenses, medical care and food and supplies are very expensive…for so many animals, so it should keep us going for a little bit,” Dupree said.
“We actually have a pic that she signed and donated to our silent auction a few years ago, so we are huge Betty White fans around here and have been for a while,” Lauren Riehle said.
Riehle raised a little more than $10,000.
“We started looking, saying our medical bills for the next month or next month in a half are paid for now…in one day, so what that means to us and the volunteers,” she said.
Laura Michael, program manager at Burlington Animal Services, smiled as she opened boxes of toys, food and a kennel from donors.
She says the shelter managed to raise more than $1,300 despite not promoting the challenge.
“It fell on MLK Holiday, and we didn’t want to detract from the day of service,” Michael said.
She says the generosity from the community will help care for more than 50 animals’ medical expenses at the shelter.
She says although White passed away, her spirit and love lives on through this challenge.
“People do care. People love animals. Again, this speaks to Betty White’s legacy and how many lives she touched, and we are honored,” Michael said.
Shelter organizers tell FOX8 they hope this challenge will continue in White’s legacy for years to come.
They say you can google your local shelter and donate.
At the Forsyth Humane Society, they plan to make Betty White a permanent part of the organization.
In a few months, people can enjoy a brick paver in the shelter’s back yard to honor her.