Kal Penn Raises $295,000 (and Counting) for Syrian Refugees

By Karen Brill

Kal Penn took the high road to wildly successful heights on Saturday when he responded to a racist troll with a charitable endeavor. Penn started a crowdfunding page for Syrian refugees after an Instagram commenter told Penn “you don’t belong in this country you fucking joke.” Penn outlined his mission effectively, titling the fundraising effort “Donating to Syrian refugees in the name of the dude who said I don’t belong in America.”

The page adds, “We are better than the hateful people who tell us we don’t belong in our own country, that America can’t be a beacon of freedom and hope for refugees from around the world. We will turn their bigotry, along with the President’s, into love.” Penn launched the crowdfunding campaign the same day that the country instituted Donald Trump’s executive order banning refugees and people from seven dominantly Muslim countries, and, as in the efforts to resist the ban, the support for Penn’s mission has been considerable. So far, nearly $180,000 has been raised, with the money going specifically to the International Rescue Committee to help in the crisis.

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