Rachel Beckwith, 9, Dies From Tragic Crash; Donors Raise $1 Million In Her Name (UPDATE)
UPDATED: Aug. 12, 2011 4 p.m.
Though Rachel Beckwith was just 9 years old when she died, her thirst for bringing clean drinking water to those in need continues to live on.
Rachel was taken off life support on Saturday after she sustained fatal injuries in a 14-vehicle pile up near her home in Bellevue, Wash. three days earlier, CNN reports. But when her life was cut short, Rachel's determination to save others was resurrected.
While celebrating her birthday in June, Rachel declined presents and asked that friends and family contribute instead to charity: water, a nonprofit that provides safe water to developing nations, her aunt Veronica Del Rosario told CNN.
"She cares about other people more than herself. For her birthday, she didn't want any presents. She told us not buy her presents. She wanted everyone to give money so that children and parents could have water."
Rachel raised $220, just $80 short of her goal.
But then news of the crash spread. Rachel's mother, Samantha Paul, was traveling on I-90 when a semitrailer jackknifed into a logging truck, the Seattle Times reports. The logs clogged traffic, causing the pileup. Then, the semi ran into Paul's car.
Rachel was the only person critically injured, and doctors couldn't save her, according to the Times.
Now, news of her past birthday mission has touched people all over. Donations continue to pour in to her fundraising page.
Her efforts have raked in more than $1 million at last count, with donations as little as a few dollars all the up to thousands. A $900 donation was posted from an anonymous donor, along with a $5 donation from Simon Kitchen, who wrote: "I wish I could give more, but I'm only 8 years old and this is my week's allowance. I hope it goes up to at least $1,000,000."
Rachel had originally been inspired by her church's fundraiser for charity: water.
"She did what she could and now she can't," Rachel's pastor Jeremy Johnson told CNN. "But we can pick up where she left off."
Honor Rachel's birthday wish by giving to charity: water through her fundraising page.
CORRECTION: This story initially said Jerome Williams donated his allowance, but the donor was actually a young boy named Simon Kitchen. The post has been updated to reflect the change.