Kenosha News Editorial: Betty White Challenge shows the power of inspiration | Editorial

Never underestimate the power of one person to inspire us.

When Betty White passed away on Dec. 31, less than three weeks shy of her 100th birthday, her love of animals inspired animal lovers across the country to dig into their pockets, purses and backpacks. They have donated historic sums of money to organizations that rescue, protect and advocate for animals, while spreading the message of pet adoption.

Betty White has had a very long career in show business and has been showered with accolades from her peers and the public. Winner of eight Emmy Awards (Primetime, Daytime and Regional), three Screen Actors Guild Awards, four TV Land Awards, she was recognized in 1995 with her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. If she had never publicly expressed her desire to protect animals and become a champion of pet adoption, she would still have been loved by her fans.

Being a vocal and proud advocate for pets has forever earned him special status.

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It was supposedly a single Facebook post that said “everyone should choose a local shelter or animal shelter in your area and donate just $5 in Betty White’s name.” The end result, an outpouring of money to these groups, is not the least bit surprising. For many of us, our pets are beloved members of the family. They never start arguing at Thanksgiving dinner, they never ask to borrow money, and almost without fail they’re thrilled to see us come home. We love our furry friends.

The world often seems divided into two groups: those who love animals and those who don’t need or abuse them. Even in the Bible, the latter are called “wicked” and “cruel”. (Genesis 24:19). There will always be people yelling at requests for donations to animal welfare groups when so many “human needs” in the community go unmet. Arguing with this line of thought is, of course, futile. Luckily, enough of us think you can see the need to be kind and helpful to animals, as well as to ease people’s suffering.

The Betty White Challenge showed how many of us really want to help animals.

“We’ve been absolutely blown away by the support for the Betty White Challenge,” said Angela Speed, vice president of communications for the Wisconsin Humane Society, which has a shelter and adoption center in Mount Pleasant.

“More than 1,600 donors gave $60,000 to the Wisconsin Humane Society in honor of Betty White’s birthday,” Speed ​​said. “There are so many wonderful animal welfare organizations that have received donations in honor of Betty’s incredible philanthropy for animals, and we couldn’t be more grateful to be among them.

“Many of the 1,600 donors were first-time donors to WHS, and others signed up to become automatic monthly donors, meaning this is not a one-time impact. for a day – this will help the animals for years to come. It’s possible this will also become an annual grassroots campaign, which would be amazing.

“Donations to nonprofits are often staggered in January, and a boost like this can be incredibly helpful in the dead of winter. A big thank you to everyone who contributed or just shared the challenge on social media – it will have a huge impact on homeless and injured animals in the communities we serve.

In Kenosha, community members rose to the challenge, with approximately $14,000 donated to the Safe Harbor Humane Society animal shelter.

“We’ve been slowly taking in donations since his passing, but the big donation push happened (Jan. 17), with a total of over $14,000 in donations,” Safe Harbor officials said. “We had so many people showing up for her, it was so heartwarming!”

Safe Harbor reported that White’s fans even sent “some 100th anniversary cards, with incredibly touching messages. Talk about a legacy left behind, right? »

White — a big supporter of the Los Angeles Zoo, the American Humane Society, Guide Dogs for the Blind, the Endangered Wolf Center and other animal welfare groups — would no doubt be thrilled with the outpouring of support.

You can still donate to Safe Harbor, which is undergoing a “much-needed overhaul of our dog adoption area,” through its website,, and the group’s Facebook page. And coming Feb. 6 is Safe Harbor’s annual Spay-ghetti Dinner fundraiser, from noon to 6 p.m. at Moose Lodge, 3003 30th Ave.

To donate to the Wisconsin Humane Society, go online to: or call 414-264-6257.

Monday, January 17 would have been Betty White’s 100th birthday. To honor the late actress, people were encouraged to participate in the Betty White Challenge and donate to a local humane society or animal shelter.

Director of the Humane Society of Central Illinois, Jane Kahman, explains how the society works, while hanging out with Alexander, a three-month-old kitten.

Famous animal lover Betty White poses with Uggie the dog from the movie ‘The Artist’ as she arrives for her Friars Club Roast in New York o…

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