Second Chance Animal Services, a nonprofit animal welfare organization, was surprised to see a wave of donations in honor of the late Hollywood icon Betty White, who died on New Years Eve just weeks before her 100th birthday .
White, in addition to her many acting roles such as the character of Rose Nylund in “The Golden Girls”, was also an avid animal rights activist.
To celebrate what would have been White’s 100th birthday on January 17 this year, fans started the #BettyWhiteChallenge, a social media trend of donating as little as $ 5 to animal rescue services or to shelters on White’s behalf, according to ABC News.
Lindsay Doray, director of development for Second Chance, said she was “touched” to learn that donations had been made on White’s behalf since the New Year.
“She was a big inspiration to many of us at Second Chance and I thought it was a great way to honor her legacy,” Doray said in a quote.
The organization, founded in 1999 and based in East Brookfield, operates several community veterinary hospitals in Worcester, Springfield, North Brookfield and Southbridge, according to the group’s website.
In addition, it helps more than 40,000 pets per year through programs that include full-service veterinary care, sterilization, adoptions, and community outreach and education.
Doray said she hoped that as more donations arrived at the organization, the funds could go to a special program run by Second Chance called “Homebound to the Rescue,” which provides veterinary services. directly to low-income senior communities at no cost to them.
Doray explained that the initiative was founded when Second Chance learned that many seniors on fixed incomes had to choose between caring for their pets, which may be their “only daily companion,” or themselves.
The Banfield Foundation is funding a grant that makes the Homebound to the Rescue program possible and it is fully funded by grants and donations, according to Doray.
Doray said that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the need is great for many seniors and their pets, and with more gifts and donations, more Second Chance can help.
Those who wish to take up the challenge and honor White’s legacy can donate directly to Second Chance through their Facebook page, on their website, or can send a check directly to their PO Box in East Brookfield.