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The love for animals and the lasting impact of "Golden Girls" actress Betty White has brought thousands of people together to help give back to their local animal shelter.
White publicly spoke about her love for animals throughout her career and was a known advocate for animal welfare. She died Dec. 31.
The #BettyWhiteChallenge hashtag went viral after being created to honor the actress and continue her work caring for animals. The hashtag challenged people to donate to a local or national shelter on what would have been her 100th birthday, Jan. 17.
Nashville Humane Association is one of many shelters that received a magnitude of donations as part of the challenge, raising over $50,000 as of Tuesday morning.
Wilson County's New Leash On Life Pet Adoption Center reported more than $20,900 raised by 430 donors on Tuesday through the challenge.
"This became a national movement, we did not know what to expect. It kind of started on Twitter then it took over on all social media platforms. After the announcement of her death on New Year's eve, people were just like her 100 birthday would have been January 17th and she was such an advocate for animals while doing everything she could to protect them so everyone make a $5 donation to your local animal shelter," spokeperson Kenneth Tallier said.
Today is the #BettyWhiteChallenge￼‼️A day to honor her memory and donate to animal shelters like ours! You’re support means everything to us. To donate to NHA today, visit https://t.co/oyBTCxUEOB or Venmo us! Thank you for being a friend… and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BETTY WHITE! pic.twitter.com/SzhqoPGB6x
— Nashville Humane (@nashvillehumane) January 17, 2022
NHA did not predict this outcome and was shocked to see how far residents were going to help raise donations.
"There were other people that raised money for us. For example, some of our volunteers did their funding Facebook page and those numbers we probably won't get for another 30 days, " Tallier said.
He believes the challenge is positively impacting the social media world. He has witnessed people on social media rejoicing about giving back over the past few days.
"You know how social media can sometimes be a bit of a downer, well yesterday it was so positive. I know in my news feed everyone was donating, whether it was to the Nashville Humane Association or other local rescues here in TN," said Tallier, and "I can't wait to find out what the national and world totals are in honor of this woman."
An updated donation estimate announcement will be made on their Twitter page.
All donations will go to helping care for the animals. If interested in donating, visit https://nashvillehumane.org/wish-list/
This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Betty White Challenge donations at $50K for Nashville animal shelter