In launching her appeal to raise $300 for mycharitywater.org, Bellevue, Washington resident Rachel Beckwith wrote:
“On June 12th 2011, I’m turning 9. 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.”
Rachel was just $80 short of her birthday goal when she turned nine, and a few weeks later she was fatally injured in a car crash. A great tragedy, and one which usually ends up as one of those heartbreaking e-mails that gets circulated by sentimental office workers years after the event, with an appeal to pray or to share.
But this one was to be different. The story took off on regional media, including KING 5 TV, in The Seattle Times and other outlets. It was spread through social channels by Alyssa Milano and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. And as of this writing, Rachel’s ongoing online appeal has raised $403,879. That’s enough to bring clean water to some 20,000 people or more.
Nothing can compensate for the loss of a beloved child. But having her last wishes so overfulfilled has helped the family cope. “I am in awe of the overwhelming love to take my daughter’s dream and make it a reality, ” her mother wrote. “In the face of unexplainable pain you have provided undeniable hope.”
You can add your donation here.