Girl's Dream of Providing Poor With Clean Water Comes True, Even After Her Tragic Death

Filed under: In The News



A girl's goal to raise $300 for a nonprofit clean water group was cut tragically short when the 9-year-old died last week in car crash.

Rachel Beckwith, of Bellevue, Wash., needed about $80 to complete her goal of sending the money to charity:water, a group dedicated to bringing clean drinking water to poor nations, MSNBC reports. But now people across the world are hearing her story and sending in money that has topped $360,000 in donations, the Seattle Times adds.

After news of the girl's death and her goal made local news around Seattle, and soon spread worldwide through social media, contributors began making pledges on Rachel's webpage.

"What could have been simply a senseless ending to such a beautiful beginning of your story has turned into something so much more," an anonymous donor posted. "I hope that if at all possible the obvious compassion so many others have shown in taking up your empathetic cause brings some peace to you and your family."

Rachel became involved with charity: water through her church, according to MSNBC.

"On June 12th 2011, I'm turning 9," she wrote on her page on mycharitywater.org. "I found out that millions of people don't live to see their 5th birthday. And why? Because they didn't have access to clean, safe water so I'm celebrating my birthday like never before. I'm asking from everyone I know to donate to my campaign instead of gifts for my birthday. Every penny of the money raised will go directly to fund freshwater projects in developing nations."

Samantha Paul, Rachel's mother, posted on the site earlier this week that she is in awe of the reaction.

"In the face of unexplainable pain you have provided undeniable hope," she wrote. "Thank you for your generosity! I know Rachel is smiling!"

Scott Harrison, founder of charity:water, tells MSNBC more than 3,600 donations have been made. As of this morning, that number was up to 7,500, according to the Seattle Times.

"Her little dream of helping 15 people has turned into almost 10,000 people and counting," he tells the network. "I wouldn't be surprised if she gets 1000 times her wish."

Harrison tells MSNBC he has seen people rally around things like this before.

"The selflessness of a 9-year-old girl who said, 'I don't want a birthday party, I don't want gifts, I just want people to have clean water' - that's the way it resonates with people," he tells the network. "I'm not surprised it's resonated with Rachel's friends and church community and people around the world."

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