“My Captain, My Captain,” I shouted stepping on top of my coffee table, as I watched Dead Poets Society. “Honestly Peanut,” my mother huffed. “You’re going to wreck the table. Get down!” Jumping down from the table, I sat sulking for the rest of the movie. Why didn’t she understand how much this movie meant to me? From that moment on, Robin Williams was my captain.
Flashback to years earlier, you will find me and my siblings watching Mork and Mindy every week. My brothers trying to drink with their fingers, sitting on their heads, and walking around saying Na-Nu, Na-Nu to all their friends. We named our puppy Mindy Mork, because our mother said that we couldn’t name a girl dog Mork. Still trying to figure out the world as children, Mork gave a voice to our confusion. While my appreciation of Robin Williams began with Mork and Mindy, I became a super fan after Dead Poets Society.
Making sure to watch all of his movies, I loved most of them and respected his talent. Whether playing the irrepressible Adrian Cronauer in Good Morning, Vietnam, or the sensitive and wise Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams had me mesmerized. He draw me in to his world and took me for a ride. Even as the creepy Seymour Parrish in One Hour Photo, he made me sympathize for him.
As great as his movies were, he was my favorite stand-up comedian. His uncontrolled energy, voices and physical comedy kept me laughing from the moment he walked onto the stage until the end; always leaving me wanting more. I still enjoy watching An Evening at the Met and Live on Broadway.
For all of the joy that he brought millions of us fans, I thank Robin Williams. Drawing from his examples of philanthropy, I believe that we can honor him through helping others. Please find the below list of charities that he supported:
- Aid Still Required
- American Foundation for AIDS Research
- Amnesty International
- Andre Agassi Foundation for Education
- Augie’s Quest
- Bob Woodruff Foundation
- Celebrity Fight Night Foundation
- Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
- Comic Relief
- David Foster Foundation
- Doctors Without Borders
- Dogs Deserve Better
- Dream Foundation
- Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
- Heifer International
- International Medical Corps
- Keep Memory Alive
- Love Our Children USA
- Luke Neuhedel Foundation
- Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center
- Prince’s Rainforests Project
- Prince’s Trust
- Robert F Kennedy Memorial
- Smile Train
- St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Join me in honoring him today by giving to one of them. Make someone else smile today, as he did for many years.