9-Year-Old Rachel Beckwith’s Final Wish Inspires Thousands to Give

For her 9th birthday, Rachel Beckwith asked for donations to a charity to promote clean water around the world. After her tragic death in a car accident, thousands have given to her cause.

For Rachel Beckwith’s 9th birthday, she didn’t ask for toys, dolls, or a new pair of shoes. Instead, the Seattle-area girl made a selfless wish: She wanted her friends and family to donate money to the nonprofit group charity:water, so that people in developing countries could have access to the clean drinking water.

“On June 12th 2011, I’m turning 9,” she wrote on her fundraising page. “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,” her fundraising page says. “I’m asking from everyone I know to donate to my campaign instead of gifts for my birthday.”

Rachel’s goal amount was $300, but she fell a bit short, raising $220 from her network of friends and relatives. That didn’t bother her much, though—she figured she could raise more the following year.

Tragically, that’s not to be: Rachel was a passenger in one of the 14 cars involved in a highway accident. After spending several days in a hospital, she was taken off of life support on Saturday.

But as news of her death spread, so did the story of her fundraising wish. Now, Rachel’s fundraising page has received donations from more than four thousand people, totaling over $84,000. All of that money will go towards building wells in developing countries, which will go a long way towards preventing the spread of disease.

“Life is coming out of this death, with Rachel’s generosity,” Rachel’s pastor, Ryan Meeks, told CNN.

To make a donation, check out Rachel’s fundraising page.

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