SEATTLE – Nine-year-old Rachel Beckwith was close to raising her birthday goal of $300 to bring clean water to African villages when she died after a car crash. Two months after her birthday, donors have contributed more than $1 million.
Donations swelled after news stories described the little girl’s campaign on behalf of “charity: water.” By Friday evening, the charity’s website said the total was more than $1.02 million from more than 26,000 donations.
Nonprofit founder Scott Harrison described the outpouring as “pretty amazing.” He said donations in response to Rachel’s wish have come from as far as Africa, Brazil, Thailand and Europe.
By Rachel’s June 12 birthday, $220 was raised and her donation page was closed. On July 20, she was fatally injured in a 13-car pileup on Interstate 90. Several days later, she was taken off life support and a pastor from her church arranged for the page to be reopened.
Rachel’s mother, Samantha Paul, has written on the donation page, “I am in awe of the overwhelming love to take my daughter’s dream and make it a reality.”