Every year, most kids look forward to their birthdays. There will be gifts, cake, balloons, and fun with friends.
Most of the time, kids dream about getting new toys, going to the movies, or going to Disneyland. But when Rachel Beckwith, a little girl from Washington, USA, told her parents what she wanted for Christmas, they didn’t understand. And as soon as she thought of something like that in her unfinished nine.
Rachel found out that there are places in the world where people don’t have clean water to drink and don’t have much else to do. The little girl was shocked. She couldn’t figure out how that could be true. She always drank and bathed in clean water, but she never thought about how happy that made her.
The girl decided that she had to act. So, for her ninth birthday, she asked her family and friends to give her a donation to a charity that helps people in her situation. Rachel set a goal for herself to raise $300.
But, unfortunately, she didn’t succeed. She only got $220. Rachel was very upset, and she told her parents that she would make sure to reach her goal next year.
A month later, Rachel and her mother were driving in a car when it was hit by a big truck. The driver of a big truck crashed into 14 cars, destroying them in an instant. The ambulance took the hurt people to the hospital right away.
Rachel’s mom was almost not hurt at all, and she could have left the hospital the same day. The girl, on the other hand, was in very bad shape. After three days, doctors said he was brain dead. The parents were so sad that they decided to take their daughter off the machine that helped her breathe.
A few weeks later, a priest at a nearby church told his congregation about a young girl he knew. This girl wasn’t even nine years old when she decided she didn’t want toys or new clothes, but instead wanted to help people. After that, the girl’s friends convinced her parents to tell everyone about what happened. When lots of people heard about Rachel, they wanted to make her dream come true.
The campaign to raise money only lasted two months, but it brought in $1,271,713—a lot more than the $300 Rachel had hoped for. With this money, the activists were able to help 37,700 people, most of whom live in Ethiopia, get better access to clean water.
Rachel would be 14 years old right now. Her name has become a sign, and her story has turned into a myth. Even though she has died, she is still making the world a better place.