A Virginia charity is joining a worldwide outpouring of support for a Connecticut girl who died after saving a friend from an oncoming car.
Rebecca Townsend, 17, of Brookfield was hit by a car last week after watching fireworks in Danbury, Connecticut. Her final act was to push a friend, Ben Arne, from the path of the oncoming car, according to her father.
Arne survived. Townsend didn't.
"That was typically Rebecca. I knew Ben Arne too. They were good friends; they were always talking in the halls, and I’m not surprised that she would save him," said Matthew Hooker, who was friends with Townsend. "She was always really bright and a smart girl."
She's a memorable girl, too: Family members said they found Townsend's bucket list after her death, with three things on it: Kiss in the rain, fly to Spain, save a life.
She scribbled it in 2012 as part of a note entitled, "For the Future Rebecca Townsend."
Rebecca Townsend's story has inspired friends and strangers alike. A Facebook page called "Remembering Rebecca" documents small acts of kindness performed in her memory, and donations are pouring for She's the First, a charity close to her heart.
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One of the groups that She's the First supports is Arlington Academy of Hope, a non-profit that sponsors girls in schools in Uganda. Rebecca sponsored one of the girls.
Arlington Academy of Hope is now hosting an online fund-raiser to honor Rebecca's legacy. Click here for more information on the fund-raiser.
Her sister, Monica, read Rebecca's bucket list at the funeral and posted her eulogy on Facebook.
"What an insightful, funny, quirky, and sensitive little girl. To my parents, thank you for taking her to Spain," Monica Townsend wrote. "To Niko, thank you for being the cute boyfriend she could kiss in the rain. And to Ben, thank you for letting her save a life."
The driver who struck Townsend stayed at the scene and has not been charged.
Friends said Arne is doing OK.
For more ways to help #RememberingRebecca, click here:
Remembering Rebecca Facebook page
Remembering Rebecca on Instagram