Accident Kills Selfless 9 Year Old Rachel Beckwith who Saved Thousands
9-year old Rachel Beckwith was taken off life support yesterday after a horrific car pileup in Seattle left her critically injured.
While the tragic news hit headlines, so did Rachel’s amazingly selfless act. The little girl who just turned 9 last month, insisted that instead of giving presents, friends and family should donate to “Charity:Water”, an organization that provides clean water to people in developing nations.
Jeremy Johnson, a pastor in Rachel’s Church tells Seattle Times that Rachel was inspired by a church fundraiser last year for the same charity, “She wanted to follow the lead of the founder of the charity, Scott Harrison, who had used his own 34th and 35th birthdays as deadlines to raise money.”
Per her daughter’s birthday wish, mother Samantha Paul set up a donation page to raise $300 in time for Rachel’s June 12th birthday. With $20 needed per person, Rachel calculates that she can help 15 people with the money raised. “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,” Rachel’s excitedly said on her donation page. “I’m asking from everyone I know to donate to my campaign instead of gifts for my birthday.”
While she came short of her target by $80, the persistent girl was already thinking of how to improve efforts for her 10th birthday next year.
Unfortunately, her planning all came to an end last Wednesday morning, when a semitrailer collided with a logging truck in the I-90 and rear-ended the car that her mom was driving. Rachel was riding in the backseat and was critically injured from the crash. She was taken off life support last Saturday as doctors told her family that there was very little they can do to save the girl.
Before her death, her family and church decided to help promote her cause, continuing to raise money for the charity. As of this morning, over 1,000 people have been inspired with her story and $88,000 was donated for her charity.
“Life is coming out of this death, with Rachel’s generosity,” one of the pastors, Ryan Meeks tells CNN. “It’s inspired many, and it’s been amazing over the last 24 hours.”
“For a 9-year-old kid, a huge step of faith would be to say, ‘Hey, for my birthday, I don’t want anything. Give to those who are in greater need,’” Meeks said. “And not everyone’s that mature at 90, and yet here she is modeling for us at the age of 9, how to live that kind of life.”
At the tender age of 9 years old, Rachel Beckwith who originally set out to help 15 people, is now helping over 4,000 people (and counting!).
To support this little angel and her cause, please go to http://www.mycharitywater.org/p/campaign?campaign_id=16396