January 29, 2017 2:55 pm EST
Updated: January 29, 2017 2:56 pm EST

Kal Penn crowdfunding campaign for refugees raises almost $250,000 in 24 hours

This Nov. 2, 2011 file photo shows Kal Penn at the premiere of "A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas" in Los Angeles.

AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Actor Kal Penn has raised over $250,000 for Syrian refugees, all thanks to a Twitter troll told him he didn’t belong in the U.S.

On Saturday, Penn shared the offending tweet, taking out the offender’s name, to launch the crowdfunding campaign with the modest goal of collecting $1,500 for the International Rescue Committee.

‘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,” read Penn’s message.

Within minutes, the star of Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, announced he would have to readjust his goal as the donations began to pour in.

He has since raised $250,000 worth of pledges in just under 24 hours. The number continues to climb.

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His crowdfunding campaign began less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump issued an executive order which barred Syrian refugees from entering the U.S indefinitely while also placing a ban on other refugees from entering the U.S. for 90 days.  In addition, it also prevents citizens of six other countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) from entering the country for 90 days.

Some of the money has been pledged in honour of Trump and his team including Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, Attorney-General nominee Jeff Sessions and Vice-President Mike Pence. One pledge was made by Cheeto Von Tinyhands, a veiled reference to the president.

The New Jersey native is the son of Indian immigrants.

He gave up a role in the successful TV series House in 2009 to serve in the Obama administration as Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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