Zak Williams’ stage is remarkably different from his dads. The son of the late comedian and actor Robin Williams is serving others by offering financial education to at-risk communities, and San Quentin State Prison.
He’s not alone. Sister Zelda is also honoring dad in a remarkable way by helping the Challenged Athletes Foundation, where her father worked, and supported athletes with disabilities. Dad didn’t only make people smile, he blessed others.
The Robin Williams many of us don’t know was a giver. This is living on through his children. “He loved giving back,” the 25-year-old said in an interview on the Today Show. Williams supported over 50 causes.
• 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
• David Foster Foundation
• Dogs Deserve Better
• Dream Foundation
• Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
Additionally, the actor created a scholarship for students to give them a Juilliard School education. He left money for the USO and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Tweeted after Robin Williams’ death in 2014 the joy he brought to others.
"Just like his "Patch Adams" character, Williams brought smiles and laughter to sick children. He visited kids battling cancer one-on-one and signed autographs at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.”
Zak, 32, felt compelled to give his time to serve others. He holds a degree from Columbia, and co-teaches a class with an incarcerated man weekly at the California facility. Passion to help others breathed new life, and meaning to him.
“I come from an entitled background where I could have not worked hard — just coasted for a chunk of my life, up to a point,” he shared with Today. “But I opted to take pride and joy in the work that I do and to establish accountability." Robin Williams' presence is felt said Zak, who started working with prisoners in October. "I think he would have loved the program and loved participating. We know he's there in their spirit."