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 Sunday night, Rachel's online fundraising page for the nonprofit group "charity: water" had landed more than $70,000 in donations, from more than 1,000 donors.
"Life is coming out of this death, with Rachel's generosity," one of Rachel's pastors, Ryan Meeks, told CNN's Don Lemon on "CNN Newsroom" Saturday night. "It's inspired many, and it's been amazing over the last 24 hours."
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