From Wedding Rings To Natural Disasters: Paul Walker’s Legacy Of Charity

close photo of Paul Walker's face at the Fast & Furious 6 premiere

By Elyse Johnson |

close photo of Paul Walker's face at the Fast & Furious 6 premiere

(Getty Images)

Paul Walker was more than an actor who charmed audiences with his personable smile and brilliant blue eyes. The actor was also known for his philanthropic efforts because he loved to help people. Walker was a generous giver, often known for giving to random strangers and fans.

One story in particular is when Walker anonymously gifted a ring to a couple for their engagement. In 2013, Kyle Upham recalled how he was shopping for an engagement for his then-fiancee when the couple met Walker. Walker happened to be in the store with them, but the two were initially unaware of his star status.

Upham shared with Walker how he had just returned from being deployed to Iraq and was unable to get his fiancee a ring before he left, so they were now searching for one together. The couple had left the store without a ring but were shocked shortly after when one of the saleswomen chased them down in the parking lot.

“One of the ladies came out holding a bag and just simply said, ‘Here’s your ring,’ and I think both of our mouths dropped. And I think after a couple of minutes of shell shock, it finally sunk in, and we were like, ‘Well how? Who bought it?’ She just smiled at me and said it was better not to say,” the couple stated. It was only after Walker’s sudden death that the couple shared the story.

Paul Walker’s charity wasn’t limited to anonymous gifts

In 2010, Walker founded the Reach Out Worldwide (ROWW) foundation. ROWW is an organization of first-responders and various other professionals who help when natural disasters strike various areas. Their mission is to quickly and efficiently send out help so that they are able to assist as many people as possible. The organization came to life after Walker went to Haiti in January 2010 after the country was hit with a massive earthquake.

Walker organized a relief team that helped respond to the disaster. During his time in Haiti, the actor saw the gap between the availability of needed resources and the demand for personnel in post-disaster situations, leading him to create ROWW to help bridge that gap. Walker worked with his organization in several incidents until his death in 2013.

The Fast & Furious star died in a car crash after leaving a charity event for ROWW. The foundation was holding a fundraiser for the victims of the Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). Walker and his friend, Roger Rodas, both died in the crash. The ROWW has since been under the supervision of his brother, Cody, and it continues to honor Walker’s legacy by furthering Walker’s vision to help those in need.