[Updated July 25, 4:25 p.m.] For her 9th birthday last month, Rachel Beckwith told people that instead of giving her presents, they should donate to a charity providing clean water to families in developing nations.
The Seattle-area girl came up with $220, short of her $300 goal. She figured she’d try to raise more money next year.
Then came the crash.
Rachel died Saturday, taken off life support at a Seattle hospital three days after she and six other people were injured in a 14-vehicle pileup on Interstate 90 near her home in Bellevue, Washington, CNN affiliate KOMO reported.
But before her death, as word of Wednesday’s crash spread, so did news about Rachel’s fundraising wish. Her church took to Facebook, Twitter and its own website to promote her cause.
As of Monday afternoon, Rachel’s online fundraising page for the nonprofit group "charity: water" had landed more than $130,000 in donations, from more than 2,400 donors.
"Rest in peace knowing that your wish is helping people in ways that you could have never imagined," one contributor wrote on the campaign site.
Ryan Meeks, one of Rachel's pastors, said that "life is coming out of this death, with Rachel's generosity."
"It's inspired many, and it’s been amazing over the last 24 hours," Meeks told CNN's Don Lemon on "CNN Newsroom" Saturday night.
"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," her fundraising page says. "I'm asking from everyone I know to donate to my campaign instead of gifts for my birthday."
"She cares about other people more than herself," her aunt, Veronica Del Rosario, told KOMO for a story that aired Saturday. "She wanted everyone to give money so that children and parents could have water."
The charity says all of its public donations directly fund water projects. Its 2009 annual report said that in a three-year period, it provided 2,321 clean-water projects, helping more than 1 million people in 16 countries, mostly in Africa and Asia.
The church was scheduled to hold a service for Rachel on Sunday night.
"For a 9-year-old kid, a huge step of faith would be to say, 'Hey, for my birthday, I don't want anything. Give to those who are in greater need,'" Meeks said. "And not everyone’s that mature at 90, and yet here she is modeling for us at the age of 9, how to live that kind of life."