A viral fundraising effort to honor the legacy of Betty White — a lifelong animal lover and outspoken advocate for animal welfare — encouraging donations to benefit shelters and rescue operations has raised $12.7 million on Facebook and Instagram, according to parent company Meta.
On Jan. 17, which would have been White’s 100th birthday, Meta said that #BettyWhiteChallenge fundraisers on its platforms had raised nearly $900,000 from 26,000 people.
On Friday, according to Meta, more than 390,000 people have donated to fundraisers on Facebook and Instagram for the #BettyWhiteChallenge, raising $12.7 million for animal shelters and rescues. According to Meta, the company does not charge any fees for donations made to nonprofit organizations through its social platforms.
White’s team on Friday posted a pre-recorded video on her Instagram, where the late star thanked her fans for raising so much money.
White, who died Dec. 31, 2021, at the age of 99, had a career in TV and film that spanned more than 60 years and was best known for her roles on “The Golden Girls,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Hot in Cleveland.”
A self proclaimed “zoo nut,” the famed actor spent her life advocating for animal welfare. “My preoccupation with animals is an open secret,” she wrote in her 2011 book “Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo.”
White’s highest-profile work as an animal advocate was through her longtime relationship with the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), the nonprofit attached to Los Angeles Zoo. She first became involved when the zoo opened in 1966, and she became a trustee in 1974. In 2012, she celebrated her 90th birthday at the L.A. Zoo.
White was also a trustee of Morris Animal Foundation from 1971-2013. In 2010, she provided the donation that established the Betty White Wildlife Fund in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and sponsored over 30 animal health studies on behalf of the organization.
Pictured above: Betty White poses with Uggie the dog from the film “The Artist” as she arrives for her Friars Club Roast in New York in May 2012.