Nine Year Old Girl’s Tragic Death May Save Thousands

A 9-year-old girl’s heart-wrenching story has spread across the US, drawing more than $745,000 in donations and supporting clean water for almost 40,000 people.

Rachel Beckwith of the Seattle area had a wish to give back for her ninth birthday. She asked friends and family to donate her birthday money to a fundraising page which she created through Charity Water.

Millions of People Don’t Live Till 5

“On June 12th, 2011, I’m turning nine,” she wrote. “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.”


She aimed to reach $300 for 15 people, and when she turned nine in June, she was only $80 short. When a horrific car accident left her on life support for three days, she had already passed her goal. She died on July 23rd, and her fundraising page “Rachel’s 9th Birthday Wish” has since collected more than 21,000 donations, with children in Seattle and beyond picking up where she left off, and starting their own birthday clean water funds.

Rachel is Smiling

Two days after her death, Rachel’s mother updated her daughter’s site stating “I am in awe of the overwhelming love to take my daughter’s dream and make it a reality. In the face of unexplainable pain you have provided undeniable hope. Thank you for your generosity! I know Rachel is smiling!”