This coming Friday, Sept. 12, would have marked the 41st birthday of Paul Walker — an actor, conservationist and philanthropist who lost his life last November in a tragic car accident. To commemorate his birthday and honor the memory of his generosity and spirit to help others, the charity Walker helped create, Reach Out Worldwide, has launched a million-dollar fundraising campaign.
"I can tell you that Paul's dream for ROWW was that it would continue to grow and continue to be able to help people all over the world long after he was gone," Jesse Brisendine, a close friend of the "Fast and Furious" star, wrote on the campaign page. "I would do anything to bring my friend back, but unfortunately life does not work that way. What I can do though, is to help ensure that my friend's dream is realized and thus his legacy lives on forever."
Walker created ROWW after assisting with relief efforts in earthquake-devastated Haiti and discovering a lack of skilled first responders available for such natural disasters. As a result, ROWW developed a network of first-responder professionals (project management, logistics, heavy equipment operation, EMT, paramedic, firefighting, and healthcare, etc) to provide both expertise and on-the-ground assistance for international disasters.
"We have some really talented people," Walker said during a 2011 interview. "Doctors that have had 25-30 years experience, who have volunteered their time to the cause readily, weeks of their lives. It's nice having that pool - first off, to have people that are that qualified, that are willing to come along on these trips, and their also willing to give you the time and attention when they see your willingness to learn and your enthusiasm for it."
In closing her campaign statement, Brisendine said that donations to Paul's charity will keep his memory alive — helping others in all corners of the world.
"By donating to ROWW, you are not only helping millions of people from all over the world in their times of need, you are also helping to keep Paul's dream alive and ensuring his legacy lives on," she writes.
To donate, jump here. A video of Walker speaking out the importance of ROWW is below.
Related on MNN:
- Paul Walker's lost film was focused on poaching in Africa
- Remembering Paul Walker and his love of marine biology