Actor, Former Obama Aide Kal Penn Raises $500K for Refugees - NBC Chicago

Actor, Former Obama Aide Kal Penn Raises $500K for Refugees

Penn served as an associate director in former President Barack Obama's White House Office of Public Engagement

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    Actor, Former Obama Aide Kal Penn Raises $500K for Refugees
    Getty Images for Global Citizen
    Actor Kal Penn attends the 2016 Global Citizen Festival In Central Park To End Extreme Poverty By 2030 at Central Park on September 24, 2016 in New York City.

    Actor Kal Penn has raised more than $500,000 for Syrian refugees after launching an online fundraiser over the weekend.

    Penn also served as an associate director in former President Barack Obama's White House Office of Public Engagement. Penn, whose parents are Indian, responded to an Instagram commenter who told him he didn't "belong in this country" by launching the fundraiser Saturday and asking followers to donate to it in the commenter's name.

    Penn says in an online video that he thought the fundraiser would simply be "an uplifting way to raise $2,500 bucks." He calls it "a beautiful way to resist" President Donald Trump's order to temporarily suspend immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations.

    Penn starred in TV's "House" and in the "Harold & Kumar" films.