By CBSBoston.com Staff

CHELMSFORD (CBS) — Betty White’s 100th birthday on Monday was bittersweet, following the beloved actress and comedian’s death just weeks prior. But the “Golden Girl” still ended up doing a world of good for a cause that was important to her – rescuing animals.

The “Betty White Challenge” that took off on social media encouraged her fans to support their local animal shelters with donations – even just $5 would make difference. And Boston-area shelters felt the love.

The Newhouse Wildlife Rescue in Chelmsford was “blown away” after raising $17,000 on White’s birthday – enough to get the shelter ready for “baby season.”

“I have always loved and respected this woman as an actress, comedian and fellow animal lover, but today that respect goes much further,” Newhouse posted to Facebook. “I am truly inspired by this incredible woman and I am so thankful for her and for all of you.”

 

At the Animal Rescue League of Boston, more than 1,200 donations poured in Monday – all in honor of White. MSPCA-Angell has also reported receiving thousands of dollars in donations in connection with the challenge.

In Uxbridge, Pawfect Life Rescue was aiming to raise $3,000 on White’s birthday – but ended up raking in more than $8,000 from the community.

“She’s taught us the value of coming together for the common good, by helping care for our four legged companions who have no voice,” the dog rescue said.

Nature’s Nurse Wildlife Rehabilitation in Franklin reported raising nearly $2,000, and the Greater Derry Humane Society brought in $2,377 on Monday.

And one Massachusetts manufacturing company is doing its part to help animals. Steele Canvas has been making durable laundry baskets and totes for about 100 years in the state – now they’ve released a limited edition “Thank You For Being A Friend” bag in honor of White’s birthday. All proceeds will go to the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem.

CBSBoston.com Staff