This girl's death saved the lives of 100,000 people in Ethiopia. While alive, she donated her hair twice to make wigs for children with cancer.
For her 9th birthday, she decided she did not want any presents. She posted this message: 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 everyone I know to donate to my campaign instead of gifts for my birthday.
Her name was Rachel Beckwith! She aimed to raise $300, which would have saved 15 people, but she managed to raise $220. Six weeks later, Rachel died in a car crash. She never saw her dream come true.
Rachel's church learnt of her birthday fundraiser, people around the world heard her story and began to donate to her birthday wish campaign. In just two months, a donation page set up in her name collected $1.2 million.
On the anniversary of Rachel's death, her mother, Samantha, visited Ethiopia. Thanks to the American girl, 143 Ethiopian villages with a total population of over 100,000 people built wells. Now, they have access to water.
"What has been inspiring about Rachel is that she taught the adults. Adults are humbled by the unselfishness of this little girl" -- Scott Harrison, founder of Charity:water.
Rachel Beckwith may be dead but her legacy lives on. Donations continue to pour in to her fundraising page.
She did what she could and now she can't, but we can pick up where she left off" Jeremy Johnson, Rachel's pastor.
At the commissioning of the well, a mother from the Ethiopian village made a speech and said Rachel’s story would be a lesson to their children. She said that all the mothers in her village were praying for Samantha. Another community sectioned off a plot of land and called it Rachel’s Park. They invited Samantha and her grandparents each to plant a tree in Rachel’s memory.
Below is a marble sign commissioned near one of the wells by Ethiopia's Relief Society of Tigray (REST) in memory of Rachel.
Rachel's last wish has saved thousands of lives. Her mother wrote on her page: I am in awe of the overwhelming love to take my daughter's dream and make it a reality. In the face of unexplanation pain, you have provided undeniable hope. Thank you for generosity! I know Rachel is smiling.
May the soul of little Rachel continue to rest in peace.
What kind words do you have to say to Rachel? Comment below.
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