Thousands Honor 9-Year-Old Girl's Final Wish

Jul 26, 2011
Because of Rachel, babies on the other side of the world have a better chance of living past infancy. (Photo: c/o mycharitywater)

It’s not often that you find an individual with a heart as big as Rachel Beckwith’s. It’s even less likely for this person to be only 9 years old and trying to save the world.

Inspired by a fundraiser at her church that raised money for nonprofit “charity: water,” Rachel decided the most rewarding gift would be to give back to individuals around the world who couldn't afford basic necessities.

“I found out that millions of people don't live to see their fifth birthday. And why? Because they didn't have access to clean, safe water. So I'm celebrating my birthday like never before," said Rachel.  

Instead of receiving gifts for her ninth birthday in June, she created a donation page on the nonprofit’s website, hoping to raise $300 before her birthday on June 12. Friends and family members raised $220 by her ninth birthday. Only missing her goal by $80, Rachel decided she would raise even more next year. 

Then the terrible and unexpected happened. Her local community was left in disbelief and shock when Rachel died this past Saturday after being taken off life support following last week's 14-car pileup on the I-90 in Bellevue, Washington. Her mission and her compassion as a role model, nevertheless, live on.

Eastlake Community Church decided to fulfill her wish to raise at least $300 for "charity: water." Creating a Twitter account, a Facebook page, and an independent website, the church has raised $143,718 from 2,739 donors as of Monday afternoon in honor of Rachel. 

Her legacy will make a big impact: Just $5,000 can provide a water well to a village with no access to clean water.

You can be part of Rachel's legacy here.

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