Little girl's legacy raises more than $1M for water charity

A young girl who was tragically killed in a car accident shortly after her ninth birthday has raised more than $1M in donations to bring clean drinking water to villages in Africa.

Instead of birthday gifts, Rachel Beckwith, from Washington State in the US, asked friends and family to donate towards clean water charity, charity:water, to help fund water projects in the third world.

The donation site,, was set up by Rachel and her mother with the aim of raising $300 by Rachel's birthday on 12 June. However, by her birthday only $220 was raised.

But following her premature death on 20 July 2011, Rachel's appeal has raised, at the time of writing, more than $1M in donations from over 23,000 people, with some giving more than $300 to the cause.

Rachel wrote on her page about how many people are forced to live without clean drinking water and she described how she wanted to raise money to fund freshwater projects in developing nations.

She wrote: "I'm asking from everyone I know to donate to my campaign instead of gifts for my birthday."
It is estimated that the money raised will help to pay for clean drinking water for more than 51,000 people.

Writing on the charity:water blog, founder and chief executive office, Scott Harrison said: To everyone who has supported Rachel's campaign: you are a part of a huge and sweeping movement of generosity, compassion and honor.

"All of us at charity: water have been humbled by the sacrifice and unselfishness of this remarkable little girl."

Rachel's website will be accepting donations for a further 46 days.

Carys Matthews


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