(WFXR) — Even though the beloved actress Betty White passed away just weeks before turning 100, her legacy of helping animals has lived on through the #BettyWhiteChallenge, which brought thousands of dollars in donations to animal shelters, SPCA organizations, and humane societies around the Commonwealth.
However, countless people decided to go ahead and celebrate the star on Monday, Jan. 17 — which would have been her 100 birthday — by taking part in the #BettyWhiteChallenge and raising money for animal shelters and rescue organizations.
Angels of Assisi joined the challenge in hopes that it would help expand the shelter’s pet food pantry. At this time, that pantry just runs off what the community donates and is only open during business hours.
However, the organization is aiming to increase accessibility by moving the pantry outside and providing 24/7 availability to help people feed their hungry pets.
“We see so many people who need assistance of the pet food pantry and it is so important to help those people because these animals are in loving homes and we want them to stay there,” said Dayna Reynolds, director of community engagement for Angels of Assisi.
According to Reynolds, keeping those animals in their homes keeps them out of the shelters.
Meanwhile, the Roanoke Valley SPCA announced on Tuesday, Jan. 18 that the shelter soared past its $5,000 goal and raised over $9,000 to help the most vulnerable pets in the community.
In addition, Starr Hill Roanoke Pilot Brewery and Side Stage is donating $1 from every pint sold from White’s birthday through Thursday, Jan. 20 to the Roanoke Valley SPCA.
“As a lifelong animal lover, [Betty White] not only helped wildlife and pets, but she inspired others across the world to do the same,” the Roanoke Valley SPCA wrote on social media. “We can’t thank you enough for donating in memory of such an icon.”
As for shelters in other parts of the region, the Lynchburg Humane Society posted on Monday it had received over $3,700 in White’s memory. However, that post also generated $1,200 in donations.
These funds will go directly toward saving homeless pets in the Lynchburg community, as well as at-risk pets transferred from other shelters.
The Radford Animal Shelter says it received at least $3,930 during the #BettyWhiteChallenge as of Tuesday, including $350 from the We are Radford Facebook page users, as well as a $2,500 donation for a cat condo from Catherine and Robert Towle.
So a local business and a great personal friend of the shelter has sponsored a whole cat condo…..I am so so happy and realize how blessed I am to have such a wonderful, supportive and loving community.
I have permission to give a shout out to the Hannifan’s and NRV Heating and Air. They give so much to the animals here at the shelter
The Betty White Adoption Room looks like its becoming more of a reality dailyFacebook post from Jan. 18, 2022 by the Radford Animal Shelter
The Humane Society of Amherst County also saw a significant number of donations, with $1,730 raised through Facebook as of this writing.
Meanwhile, Friends of Bedford County Animal Shelter, Inc. raised at least $1,300 as of Monday.
Other local animal shelters, SPCA organizations, and humane societies that promoted the #BettyWhiteChallenge include the Friends of Campbell County Animal Control, the Montgomery County Animal Care and Adoption Center, Pulaski County Animal Control, the Regional Center for Animal Care and Protection (RCACP), the Franklin County Animal Shelter, the Rockbridge SPCA, and the Martinsville-Henry County SPCA.