Cameron Boyce's humanitarian work was about leaving 'behind something bigger'

"We don't get to take what we have right now, with us," he once said.

July 8, 2019, 9:49 AM

The acting world lost a tremendous young talent this weekend when "Descendants" star Cameron Boyce died at the age of 20.

Boyce's death was confirmed to ABC News by his family Saturday night.

His family told ABC News, "The world is now undoubtedly without one of its brightest lights, but his spirit will live on through the kindness and compassion of all who knew and loved him."

And that small part of their undoubtedly heartfelt and tragic statement couldn't be more true, as the young man dedicated much of his free time to helping others.

Boyce introduced former vice president and current presidential candidate Joe Biden at his Biden Courage Awards in March, and he was presented with the Pioneering Spirit Award, one of the highest honors of the night, at last year's Thirst Gala, sponsored by the Thirst Project.

Boyce was honored by the Thirst Project for his efforts to bring awareness to the Global Water Crisis. He also raised $30,000 to build two wells for clean drinking water in Swaziland.

During the introduction video at the gala, his friends and family spoke about how dedicated he was, even asking that birthday gifts be donated to Thirst, continuing his efforts.

"I'm super proud of you bro, I love you, you deserve this," fellow actor and best friend Karan Brar said in the clip.

At the gala and after the poignant intro, Boyce passionately accepted his honor, but tried also to inspire others to effect change and make the world a better place.

"I understood what I should do and why I needed to do it," he said about being inspired by humanitarians before him. "I hope that some of you guys feel that way tonight."

He next quoted Oscar-winner Denzel Washington, who once said, "I've never seen a U-Haul behind a hearse ... we don't get to take what we have right now, with us."

Boyce added that, "That struck me. We all go ... I hope that all of you think about what it is that you want to leave. We all have material things, we all have things that we own and we like, treat ourselves and all that stuff but what you leave behind should be bigger than you. And I really believe that."

In addition to his work with Thirst Project, Cameron advocated for the fight against homelessness.

In May, he wrote, "I'm going to be at #Homewalk2019 with @launitedway and the @rams again this year to help the fight to end homelessness in LA. Come say hi! Let's be friends!"

Before that, he posted from the LA Family Housing Awards, and his messages on social media were just as much about helping others as they were about his life and his acclaimed work.

"It's so important to think selflessly. To acknowledge that problems exist even if they don't apply to you. To understand how lucky we are to even be here, and how nothing in your life will ever be more fulfilling than helping others," he wrote late last year.

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