SOCIAL INNOVATION COMPANY NAMES EXTRAORDINARY SEATTLE GIRL, RACHEL BECKWITH, RAINMAKER OF THE YEAR 2012
June 11, 2012, Seattle – In 2011, Rainworks Omnimedia LLC — a social impact innovation company that produces traveling exhibitions for science museums and supports clean water and literacy programs — launched its annual Rainmakers List to recognize impact initiatives addressing urgent social problems.
“With the Rainmakers List, we wanted to celebrate and honor those who were working under the radar and making rain for others,” said Anu Sridharan, Impact Advisor at Rainworks and co-Founder & CEO of Next Drop, a collector and disseminator of water delivery information via mobile phones. Those chosen for the inaugural list included the inventor of a device that eased water collection in rural India, a program that makes affordable sanitary protection for girls in Kenya’s slums, and a mobile maternity program for poor women in East Africa.
This year, Rainworks chose a lone recipient as Rainmaker of the Year 2012—the late Rachel Beckwith of Seattle. For her 9th birthday on June 12th 2011, instead of requesting birthday gifts, Rachel created a birthday page on charity:water to raise $300 for clean water. A month later, Rachel was in a car accident that left her critically injured; she died a few days later on July 23. After reading about her extraordinary selflessness and untimely death, nearly 32,000 people from around the world donated a total of $1,265,823 to her birthday wish campaign. According to charity:water, approximately 63,000 people in Ethiopia will now have access to clean, safe drinking water because of Rachel. More than 200 water projects will be funded by the donations. To remember Rachel on what will have been her 10th birthday this year, June 12, 2012, please visit her new page at http://mycharitywater.org/Rachelscontinuedwish.
“As we look back at the world of impact and those who made rain for others this past year, we cannot think of anyone who had such a profound impact on a cause or moved others to get involved in a cause than Rachel,” said Gail Vida Hamburg, founder of Rainworks. “She is an inspiration to everyone in our mission driven company, and we hope she will be remembered by children and young people everywhere as the kind of caring, thoughtful person we should all aspire to become.”