The Legacy of Young Changemaker Rachel Beckwith

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When we hear the word “legacy,” it’s usually referring to the impact someone had on the world during their long life. In the case of Rachel Beckwith, a young girl who died this past July, living a long life has nothing to do with it.

Weeks before turning nine, Rachel became an inspirational changemaker when she decided to follow her passion for helping others. Here’s what she wrote on her website page over at My Charity:Water:

On June 12th 2011, I’m turning 9. 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. Every penny of the money raised will go directly to fund freshwater projects in developing nations. Even better, every dollar is “proved” when the projects are complete, and photos and GPS coordinates are posted using Google Earth. My goal is to raise $300 by my birthday, June 12, 2011. Please consider helping me.

Tragically, on July 20, Rachel died in a car accident near Seattle. And while her family was mourning their loss, word spread about Rachel’s birthday wish. Today, a month later, her goal of raising $300 was surpassed… by more than a million dollars. To date, Rachel Beckwith has raised $1,204,695 for Charity:Water, a nonprofit bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. Her efforts, both in life and in death, have impacted more than 60,000 people in the developing world.

While her story is a sad one, we are so inspired by the legacy Rachel left behind. To find out more about Charity:Water and Rachel, visit her website here.

What do you hope your legacy is?

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