VALENCIA (CBSLA.com) — While most recognized Paul Walker from the “Fast & Furious” movie franchise, few knew about the late actor’s charitable heart.
Walker started the Burbank-based charity Reach Out Worldwide in 2010 after the earthquake in Haiti.
“He knew a couple doctors, he knew some fire guys, and he didn’t know what he was getting himself into, but he gathered them up and said, ‘We’re going to Haiti,’” JD Dorfman, the operations manager for the nonprofit, said.
CBS2’s Serene Branson said Walker got his hands dirty on grueling relief missions after a quake in Chile and a tornado in Alabama.
“That’s all Paul wanted … was a chainsaw and to be pointed in the right direction,” Dorfman said.
Walker never wanted the media to showcase his efforts.
“This is the first time, really, we’ve even spoken about how close Paul’s been to the organization because he would never let us. For us, it’s almost weird walking that line, going, ‘Is Paul OK with us using his name this much?’ But the feeling was, if he wasn’t going to beat his own drum, we’re going to do it for him now,’” Dorfman said.
Walker was attending a Reach Out Worldwide toy drive Saturday when he was killed in a single-vehicle crash in Valencia.
Since then, emails and donations have poured in to the charity.
“It wasn’t like we just lost our founder or a person who wrote a check. We lost a brother in the trenches,” Dorfman said.
Dorfman said the mission is to keep the organization going.
“He wouldn’t stand for a second of sadness, or a second of slow-down, he would say, ‘Get out there, kick butt and keep doing what I started,’” Dorfman said.