The death of actor and comedian Robin Williams has resulted in a spike of charitable discussions and discussions surrounding mental health.
The Academy Award-winner, who is known for his roles in classic films such as “Dead Poets Society”, “Mrs. Doubtfire”, and “Aladdin”, was also known for his charitable work. According to Look to the Stars, which lists the charitable works and causes of Hollywood stars, Wiliams supported more than 50 causes and charities—ranging from environmental protection, human rights, education, to health care.
Aside from providing financial assistance, Williams quietly visited children who are sick in hospitals and entertained American troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. In most cases, he supported and participated in various causes without the accompanying huge publicity campaigns typically done by other celebrities.
Williams was also prominently known for his involvement with Comic Relief, a charitable organization devoted to fighting homelessness. He also created a scholarship under his name at the Juillard School (his alma mater).
His death has increased charitable donations all over the world.
For instance, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a Tennessee children’s hospital Williams and her daughter Zelda Rae Williams support, has seen a rise in donations following his untimely passing. The hospital gives free medical care to sick children. Following his father’s death, Zelda’s campaign page to raise money for the said research and treatment facility has been surged with donations of more than $10,000 at present, doubling her $5000 goal.
Responding to the massive outpouring of support, Zelda wrote on Twitter: “Thank you to all those donating to @StJude in memory of my father. I’m overwhelmed. The charity meant the world to him, as it does to me.
“Knowing that so many children will be helped in his honor is all I could’ve asked for. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you.”
The ripple effect does not stop at the institutions the actor had supported. Williams, who passed away due to apparent suicide, has resulted in a surge in donations to organizations involved with discussing and treating mental health.
Together with his second wife Marsha, Williams founded the Windfall Foundation, an organization dedicated to raise funds for charities. In December 1999, for the charity Children’s Promise, Williams sang in French on a music video of international stars doing a cover of “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)” by the Rolling Stones.
In the aftermath of the 2010 Canterbury earthquake, he donated proceeds from a performance to helping rebuild the devastated New Zealand city.