January 30, 2017


Kal Penn Raises $500,000 for Syrian Refugees After Being Told He Doesn't Belong in America

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

On Saturday afternoon, actor Kal Penn—currently of Designated Survivor, previously of Harold & Kumar and Houseshared a vicious comment directed at him:

And just like that, a CrowdRise.com page arrived, titled "Donating to Syrian Refugees in the name of the dude who said I don't belong in America." Its description:

"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."

The fundraiser rocketed past its $2,500 goal swiftly, hitting $10,000 in an hour, then $250,000 in a day. Penn boosted the goal numerous times; its current number as of this publication on Monday, Jan. 30 at 10:20 a.m., is $550,000. It's got $538,000 in the bank and is earning more by the minute, literally. Go see, and consider throwing in a few bucks—if not to this cause, to another one important to you and to those under siege in this nation.

On Sunday, the fundraiser page offered an update with direct ways to stay actively involved in American politics and policies, including instructions for calling senators, organizations that need help, publications and reporters to follow, and an array of social media accounts of people who "have worked on policy & outreach the last eight years, & are actively tweeting on the legal/policy realities of the new administration." 

Here's some more Penn has shared along the way:

And, in an early update on the Crowdrise page, Penn wrote:

"What an impactful way to show the world that we love our beautiful country, and do not stand with our new president and his un-American policies. Thank you for inspiring me so much already today."

Watch Third Eye Blind, Sir the Baptist, State Champs, Mutemath and more tell Fuse their feelings about Donald Trump becoming America's president: