ST. LOUIS — Late actress Betty White would have turned 100 years old on Jan. 17. In honor of her birthday, fans are donating to a cause that was near and dear to her heart.

The #BettyWhiteChallenge encourages everyone to donate $5 to a local animal shelter or rescue. Donations are pouring in across the country, even here in the St. Louis region.

“It has surprised us,” said Gina Fromme, the chief development officer of Humane Society Missouri. “We knew people loved Betty White, they loved animals, and that they were going to want to help.  We are seeing the donations roll in more so than we could have imagined.”

The Stray Rescue of St. Louis has also seen a jump in donations from families wanting to honor White’s lifelong work as an animal activist.

“When she was alive, Betty White was a fierce advocate for animals as well as spay and neuter. So, it’s an awesome thing to keep her legacy going,”  said Andrea Wilkey, the vice president of operations for the Stray Rescue of St. Louis.

As an expression of gratitude, the shelter is offering a special “Thank you for being a friend” T-shirt with every $100 donation on Jan. 17 only.