Lessons Learned from a 9 year old…


I originally posted this on FB on 8-16-11. If you want to see an update about Rachel’s effect on people she didn’t even know, go here:

Today I watched Today…like I do every “today.” Why? Because I just start my day that way. That’s what I’ve done all my adult life. It’s as normal for me as drinking my Keurig cup of coffee in the AM…essential, if you want me to be civil to you later on in the day.

Now, 9 times out of 10, I begin to tune out after the 7:30 am hour because it’s mostly “fluff” stories after 8 am and 1/2 of them are about raising toddlers, making fattening food, and shopping for the little black dress. I’m a little past the toddler stage at my house–since the youngest is graduating from high school this spring. And I’m a little past shopping for the little black dress. I prefer to shop for little black workout pants now.

But, today was different on Today. 🙂 Long after the 8 am hour, they told the story of Rachel, a 9 year old little beauty with a really big heart. At 5 years old Rachel decided to donate her long hair to Locks of Love….on her own…no prompting from the parentals. She did it again a few years later.

For her 9th birthday, Rachel decided she didn’t need any birthday gifts. Instead, Rachel wanted…water…for children in Africa. She set up a web page on charitywater.org to help her accomplish that feat. All on her own…no prompting from her parentals. She set a goal of raising $ 300 and that amount would create water for 3 families or 15 people. Rachel was a tad disappointed that she only raised $ 220 by her birthday, but told her mom that she wanted to do the same thing for her 10th birthday.

Less than a month ago, a huge “pile-up” crash occurred on the Seattle highways near Rachel’s home. Rachel was critically injured in the crash. As her mom realized that Rachel probably wasn’t going to survive the accident, she decided to reopen Rachel’s web page so that concerned family and friends could donate in her honor. Very quickly, Rachel met her $ 300 goal.

Word spread about Rachel’s page and soon Seattle talk jocks were talking about her page. As one DJ talked about her page on his show, he kept refreshing her page every few minutes. As he did, the amount raised on Rachel’s page kept going up $ 1000 each time!

Soon, the folks at charitywater.org noticed Rachel’s giant leap in donations and took great interest in her story. Sadly, Rachel passed away. But, the donation page kept going up.

Eventually, there were comments on her page from…Australia! As of this morning’s piece on the Today Show, Rachel’s water page total was…over 1.14 million dollars! One donor commented, “Soon, there will be too much water in Africa.”

Just now I refreshed Rachel’s page and…the total is now over 1.42 million dollars. Rachel’s page is set right now to help over 57,000 people! In other words, Rachel has met her goal 3000 times over!

The reality is that hungry people can survive a lot longer than thirsty people. And the reality is that we have the technology and ability to change the lack of clean drinking water today for people all over the world. All we need is the funding to go do it! Think about that as you drink your bottled water today.

Update: While Rachel’s water campaign is over, she wound up helping 60,000 people. Her wells are being built. Click on the link above to see Rachel’s mom visit the folks that are benefiting from her unselfishness.

“And a little child shall lead them…”

“When I was thirsty, you gave me water…”

Point to Ponder Challenge: The other reality is that all of us could do exactly as Rachel did–set up a water campaign as our birthday wish for this year and ask people to donate to it. Click on this link to do that today. And I will challenge myself to do the same if…five of you go and do it and submit a comment below giving me the link to your campaign! We may not help 60,000 people like Rachel, but if we help 1 person each, we will have taken care of an entire family! 

Tomorrow’s Post: The Holey Gospel…and no, that wasn’t a typo.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 at 6:55 am and is filed under God stuff, Lessons Learned. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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