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Heartwarming Tearjerker of the Day: In anticipation of her 9th birthday, Rachel Beckwith informed her mom that she didn’t want presents; instead, she asked friends and family to donate $9 to charity: water, so that kids her age in Africa would have clean water to drink.
She fell shy of her goal of $300, which is enough to give 15 people clean drinking water. But she pledged to do better when her 10th birthday rolled around.
Tragically, Rachel was killed in a car accident in Seattle just a month after turning 9.
News of the tragedy — and Rachel’s birthday wish — made it around the world, and some 30,000 people gave more than $1.2 million to Rachel’s campaign.
Her mom, Samantha Paul, was blown away:
It made me realize how blessed I am even though I don’t have Rachel with me anymore.
And so on Monday, exactly one year after Rachel’s death, Paul continued her daughter’s campaign with a visit to a village in Ethiopia, where local partners were using funds from Rachel’s campaign to drill wells.
They also had commissioned a marble sign to honor her:
Rachel’s great dream, kindness and vision of a better world will live with and among us forever.
Sixty thousand people in more than 100 villages will drink clean water because of Rachel’s wish.
Sometimes the best thing that can happen for a cause is for one of its notable supporters to die tragically.