Updated Aug. 12, 3:56 p.m.
Rachel Beckwith didn’t live to see her birthday wish, but more than 50,000 people in need of clean water will, now that her campaign has hit $1,011,936 and counting.
When Rachel died on July 23 from injuries she sustained in a car crash, she had raised $220 for charity:water, a nonprofit that brings potable water to developing countries. The Bellevue, Wash. girl had decided to celebrate her birthday with the fundraiser instead of getting gifts, but fell $80 short of a goal that would’ve helped 15 people in need.
After Rachel passed away though, her mission was revived and amplified by thousands of complete strangers who have made Rachel’s campaign, charity:water’s largest in history.
“I’m just blown away by the overwhelming love and support and response that we’ve gotten from it,” Rachel’s mother, Samantha Paul, shared on the CBS Early Show Monday. “It’s overwhelming.”
Paul met founder and CEO of charity:water, Scott Harrison, for the first time Monday and the two expressed their commitment to keeping Rachel’s legacy alive.
“Lives are being transformed through this little girl’s selflessness,” Harrison remarked. He offered to take Rachel’s mom to Africa to meet those very people her daughter has impacted.
“I’ve always been so unbelievably proud of her, of the choices she’s made throughout her life,” Paul shared. “I’m just glad that everyone can share in the ‘Rachel experience’ now.”
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