Girl’s Birthday Wish Granted After Death: Thousaands Raised for Clean Water

Posted July 27th, 2011 at 7:35 pm (UTC-5)
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Rachel Beckwith's wish for her 9th birthday was to raise $300 for a charity that funds clean water projects in developing countries.

One month later, after her death in a car accident, that wish has been granted more than 1,500 times over.

Donations to the young girl's Internet fundraising page totaled more than $450,000 by Wednesday evening, with gifts pouring in from more than 12,000 people.

Beckwith's mother, Samantha Paul, posted a message on the page thanking the donors, saying she was “in awe” and said it was giving her hope in the face of “unexplainable pain.”

Beckwith died last week after sustaining serious injuries in a massive 13-car accident on a highway near her home in Seattle, Washington. Her mother and 2-year-old sister were also in the car, but survived.

After her death, the pastor of her church asked the charity to re-activate her fundraising page for anyone who wished to donate in her honor.

Beckwith wrote on the page she was inspired to raise money for the charity when she learned that millions of children die before the age of five because they lack access to clean water. As of her birthday on June 12, Beckwith had raised $220, just $80 short of her original goal.

The money is going to an organization called “charity: water” which funds projects in 19 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The group says each $20 donation is enough to give one person access to safe, clean water.

“Charity: water” raises the bulk of its money through pages like the one Beckwith created, where a person asks their friends and family to donate for a special event or in their honor. A spokesman for the charity told the Associated Press news agency Beckwith's campaign is now the largest in the history of the organization.