Rebecca Townsend died tragically, but unlike many people, the 17-year-old girl managed to finish every item on her bucket list, which ended with “save a life.”
Townsend and her friend Benjamin Arne were crossing the street at 9 p.m. in the town on Danbury, Connecticut, when a car came barreling at them. Rebecca pushed Benjamin out of the way, but was hit in the process. Arne was hospitalized and the young woman died.
Shortly afterwards her sisters found an assignment from Townsend’s Immaculate High School studies. It was a bucket list.
There were three items, with two already checked off: “go to Spain” and “kiss in the rain.” The third thing on the list was “save a life.”
The teenager’s posthumously completed bucket list left her devastated family with a bit of satisfaction. According to the New York Daily News, the Townsend’s sister Monica talked about the list in her eulogy.
“Who knows why Rebecca was looking at that letter the night she left us… but I think it’s her little way of telling us she is OK; she accomplished what she needed to; she made it.”
Townsend started the She’s the First charity, which sponsors girls in developing countries to be the first in their families to graduate from secondary school.
Whether or not the bucket list was an odd coincidence, Townsend has inspired others to be generous and post their stories on the Remembering Rebecca Facebook page.
According to the Daily Mail, one good Samaritan left a $10 tip for a McDonald’s server. Another baked cookies for the Danbury Music Centre Band Camp. One young woman wrote “For Rebecca” down her legs before biking 106 miles to raise money for a multiple sclerosis foundation.
There have been bigger fundraising events in Townsend’s honor as well.
The class of 2019 at Notre Dame University, which the young woman would have attended this upcoming fall, hosted a Go Fund Me page to take donations. The class hoped to raise $1500 to produce wristbands and sell them at the Notre Dame Welcome Weekend in August; all the proceeds would then go to Rebecca’s She’s the First foundation. The group has already raised about $4,000 and all funds over $1500 go directly to Townsend’s charity.
One of the most touching examples of the young woman’s inspiration was captured in a note in front of a yoga studio from Townsend’s friend Carissa Crawford.
“Please enjoy your yoga class in honor of Rebecca Townsend, a precious 17-year-old girl who was taken from us one week ago today. Rebecca was a firecracker who made it her mission to bring joy to those around her and help any and everybody who she encountered. Live your life to its fullest and help spread Becca’s legacy of kindness!”
Despite the touching words from so many people, Townsend’s sister Victoria admits the death is still painful.
“We miss her a lot. We’re really happy she’s inspiring people, but it’s really hard seeing her face everywhere. We just want her back.”
Rebecca Townsend’s memorial Facebook page can be found here.
[Image via Facebook]