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Exclusive: How Taylor Swift inspired her 'generous' fans to raise over $10,000 for a good cause

You can still donate and take part in the challenge

Taylor Swift performs onstage during " Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour" at Estadio Más Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti on November 09, 2023 in Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal.
Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca Lewis - Los Angeles
ReporterLos Angeles
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Taylor Swift fans have raised over $10,000 for the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, plus thousands of dollars for other shelters around the country, in honor of her 34th birthday. 

On December 6, the PSPCA began an outreach program that called on Taylor's fans to also become the "person of the year" by donation to the #TaylorSwiftChallenge; Taylor is from Pennsylvania and moved to Nashville at the age of 14. 

Taylor Swift heads out for dinner on her 34th birthday © Gotham
Taylor Swift heads out for dinner on her 34th birthday

"The #TaylorSwiftChallenge is just two days away… are you Ready For It?" a December 11 post read. 

"Following @taylorswift's  nomination as TIME Person of the Year, we are asking her fans, and animal lovers alike, to donate $13 to local animal shelters on her birthday, December 13th. This year has been particularly tough on shelters around the nation. Whether you’re a fan of the fellow cat-lover turned superstar or not, your donation would mean the world to animals in need." 

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Now, speaking to HELLO!, the PSCPA has revealed that over $10,000 was raised and hopefully "many more dollars for animal shelters across the country," with the challenge reaching shelters in North Carolina, Texas, Missouri and Massachusetts, and Kansas City, the hometown of Taylor's boyfriend Travis Kelce.

"Yesterday was such an inspiring day and we really did feel like there was an 'invisible string' connecting us all," said Gillian Kocher, director of Public Relations. 

Taylor Swift's cats Meredith Gray and Olivia Benson sit on a pink couch © Instagram
Taylor Swift's cats Meredith Gray and Olivia Benson sit on a pink couch

"When the TIME magazine was unveiled last week, our PR team at the PSPCA immediately got together to brainstorm. What drew our attention was not only that Taylor was featured with a cat, but that the cat looked so familiar to us," added Gillian. 

"We had rescued nearly 100 ragdolls at the end of September. Additionally, when we discovered that the cat was her very own Benjamin Button, a rescue, we thought what better way to honor Taylor on her birthday AND to help shelter animals across the country than by issuing the challenge." 

Although Taylor and her team have not yet reached out, and the PSCPA are not sure if she is aware of the challenge, Gillian shared that "the Challenge did take on a life of her own, so we hope that she heard about it and would approve". 

Taylor Swift lies next to her cat Benjamin Button© Instagram
Taylor Swift with her cat Benjamin Button

As for the incredible amount that they have raised so far, Gillian revealed that the PSPCA were "hopeful" for a good response and therefore "weren't surprised" to discover just how "generous and invested' the fans were in the donating: "The response from other shelters across the country was also so very heartwarming and we hope the challenge was a difference maker!" 

Taylor has three adopted cats - two Scottish folds named Meredith Grey and Olivia Benson, and a Ragdoll named Benjamin Button. She welcomed Meredith to her home in 2011 and Olivia in 2014, while Benjamin became a part of her family in 2019 when she met and fell in love with him on the set of the music video for 'Me!' 

To donate please contact your local animal shelter or Venmo @PSPCA $13.

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