Heartwarming Tearjerker of the Day

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In anticipation of her 9th birthday, Rachel Beckwith informed her mom that she didn't want presents; instead, she asked friends and family to donate $9 to charity: water, so that kids her age in Africa would have clean water to drink.

She fell shy of her goal of $300, which is enough to give 15 people clean drinking water. But she pledged to do better when her 10th birthday rolled around.

Tragically, Rachel was killed in a car accident in Seattle just a month after turning 9.

News of the tragedy -- and Rachel's birthday wish -- made it around the world, and some 30,000 people gave more than $1.2 million to Rachel's campaign.

Her mom, Samantha Paul, was blown away:

It made me realize how blessed I am even though I don't have Rachel with me anymore.

And so on Monday, exactly one year after Rachel's death, Paul continued her daughter's campaign with a visit to a village in Ethiopia, where local partners were using funds from Rachel's campaign to drill wells.

They also had commissioned a marble sign to honor her:

Rachel's great dream, kindness and vision of a better world will live with and among us forever.

Sixty thousand people in more than 100 villages will drink clean water because of Rachel's wish.

[seattletimes]