By now, the tragic news of actor Paul Walker’s untimely death on Saturday, November 30 has spread throughout the media and its audiences. Walker’s involvement in a fiery car crash in Santa Clarita, California and the details surrounding it have been well covered. What many may not see is Walker’s intense commitment to helping people in need the world over through a charitable organization he started in 2010.
Reach Out Worldwide began as a heartfelt response to the tragedies seen following the massive January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Walker visited the country as part of a disaster response team and felt the calling to continue such philanthropic work on his own. Upon his return, he and a group of friends and started ROWW, whose philosophy is, “by making a difference in just one person’s life, the world has been changed for the better.”
The non-profit organization quickly grew into Walker’s dream of “filling the gap between the availability of skilled resources and the requirement for such personnel in post-disaster situations.” ROWW enlisted the help of doctors, nurses, firefighters, heavy-equipment operators, project planners, and others in building a network of volunteers with the ability to respond to worldwide disasters. The organization even attracted the help of companies like STIHL – America’s number one selling brand of gas-powered, handheld power equipment, like chainsaws – who donates equipment to the team.
To date, ROWW has assisted in the recovery efforts following the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, the Typhoon in the Philippines, the Tsunami in Indonesia, and tornadoes in Illinois, Oklahoma City, and Alabama. Currently, ROWW has members deployed to the Philippines in response to Typhoon Haiyan, which made landfall in early November.
As many of the news reports mentioned, Walker was attending a “charity toy drive and automotive social gathering” on Saturday just minutes before his death. The charity aimed to gather toys and funds to help economically disadvantaged children the world over, and especially in the current Philippine disaster zone.
Paul Walker died not only an accomplished actor and active automotive enthusiast, but more importantly, a legendary philanthropist and activist for just causes and hurting people worldwide. He will be sorely missed.
Click past the jump to see videos of Paul Walker in action with ROWW
The legendary Paul Walker
Haiti earthquake, January 2010
Oklahoma Tornado 2013
ROWW Winter Holiday 2012
Chile earthquake, March 2010