Rachel Beckwith: change beyond life

Social change has no gender, no age, no degree – and continues beyond life.

Rachel Beckwith was only 5 years old when she decided to have her hair donated to Locks of Love, an organization that makes wigs for children who lost their hair due to a disease. So she did.

Then, when Rachel Beckwith was only 8 years old, she decided that she would exchange her 9th birthday party and her birthday gifts for donations to charity:water, an organization that provides safe water to developing nations. So she did.

She was a bit disappointed about raising only $220 when her goal was $300. But then something happened and her page indicated that the donations raised increased to $100,000 and counting… then $300,000… and finally an exact total of $1,265,823.

The event that sparked this dramatic increase in funds raised was a car accident Rachel was involved in only few days after her birthday. When people heard from the media about her intentions, contributions flooded in. Almost 32,000 donations helped 63,000 people. One single person really can promote social change in the world.

Last June 12th, Rachel Beckwith would have turned 10 years old. Her passion for helping others has lived on. Her mom, Samantha Paul, set up another campaign page at charity:water named Rachel’s Continued Wish. The campaign goal of $5,000 has been overcome with more than $8,000 in donations. You can still help until the end of June. There is always time to be inspired by the juvenile hope and determination of this little woman from Bellevue, WA.

This blog post uses information from The Huffington Post, The New York Times and The Seattle Times.

About the author: Melissa de Andrade is a social media strategist, who graduated from the University of Washington. She also has extensive experience as a journalist in Brazil, specializing in technology, and holds a masters degree in Digital Enterprise Management from the UK. Her blog about social media is found at http://melissadeandrade.com/preview

One Response to Rachel Beckwith: change beyond life

  1. James June 19, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    Thank you so much for continuing to share Rachel’s story, and I and many others have, as well. Those that were particularly touched by Rachel’s legacy continue to try to encourage others to share the story in their own communities – and particularly with their own children. In times when it can be scary for kids, with economic, global and environmental uncertainty, when the news is generally bad, Rachel’s legacy shows that any child can make a difference. Many of Rachel’s donors are kids, so even if a child can only do a little – if they can find other kids to join them, it is possible that they can literally change the world and improve our future. Rachel did. Rachel’s legacy hopefully will continue on indefinitely. Although many parts of the world joined in originally, and her story was told as far away as Vietnam, China, South America, Australia, etc., the story resurged in Russia in March 2012, and now Ethiopians/Africans are first learning of this amazing little girl. While many people do know her story, most still do not – but as with Rachel, change might only occur if small actions are taken first.

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