Robin Williams was a global legend who never failed to make people smile; when news of his death surfaced, millions mourned the loss of such a great man.
He had a reputation for being a genuinely nice person, a family man and all-round funny guy, but sadly took his own life in August, 2014 at the age of 63.
His death came as shock, even to those close to him. The world soon learned he had been diagnosed with a disease many believe contributed to his pain and eventual suicide.
Yet, sometimes, it is those who have the hardest lives that have the most to give, and Robin Williams continuously gave back to the community – without ever taking credit for his unselfish acts.
It’s been over five years since we lost this wonderful man, but details about the comedian’s generosity and warm spirit continue to emerge.
Despite his fame and status, not to mention the global outpouring of grief when he died, to this day, anecdotes and little-known secrets about the star continue to find the light of day.
I had never heard this story and therefore thought that it might be nice to highlight it now, not least because it shows what a genuine and kind-hearted man he was, despite his celebrity status.
According to KING 5-TV, Williams helped raised nearly $50,000 for a food bank in Seattle between 2004-2008. It all began after Williams performed a stand-up routine in a nightclub in the city, going on to donate all revenue from the show to the West Seattle Food Bank. Williams never wanted recognition for his generosity, but his warm gesture certainly left a mark.
“I was just astounded,” West Seattle Food Bank executive director Fran Yeatts told USA Today in 2014.
In 2007 and then again in 2008, Williams traveled back to Seattle for two performances. Once again, he donated the proceeds from his shows to the West Seattle Food Bank. In total, he raised almost $50,000.
“Robin Williams is the type of person who really understands there are a lot of people who are really, really struggling,” Fran Yeatts said.
Although he passed away in 2014, Williams continues to inspire and influence many people – not least those who worked for West Seattle Food Bank. One of the volunteers, Bill Bacon, has been struggling with bipolar disorder himself and he never forgets Robin Williams’ gesture.
“In spite of the problems that some people have, they can still aspire to great things,” Bill Bacon said. “I think Robin Williams is a classic example of that.”
Aaron Ellis, another volunteer at the food bank, got to meet the comic legend while he was in Seattle.
“He was this real guy, this regular Joe that had the same issues,” Ellis told USA Today.
“He said it was an honor for him to be able to do these things, to give back,” said Ellis. “That meant the world to me. It solidified my sobriety to this day.”
As if it were possible for Robin Williams to become even more likeable … The actor is greatly missed to this day, not just for his talents on-screen but also for his compassionate and humane approach to topics so many others ignore on a regular basis.
And instead of focusing on how Williams’ life tragically ended, I prefer to cherish and be inspired by the way he lived his life. Please share this story to salute Robin’s memory!