Kal Penn Wins Celebrity ‘MasterChef’ and Donates the Prize Money to Refugee Charity
Celebrity| | By Brian Delpozo
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) got a gift from Kal Penn this past week, as the actor — best known for his role in the Harold and Kumar films and for serving in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2011 — donated his $25,000 winnings from MasterChef: Celebrity Showdown to the organization.
Lots of great, thoughtful questions about how celebs choose their respective NGOs for celebrity Master Chef! Here’s how I chose mine: pic.twitter.com/RbzwhO6pto— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) January 4, 2017
The cooking competition show regularly has celebrity contestants choose what charities would receive their potential winnings, and Penn took to Twitter to explain why he chose the UNRWA. The actor wrote in part, “Much of our own media attention is focused away from the human stories of children and families who are suffering due to displacement against the rule of international law, terrorism, and violence from so many sides. So having the chance to cook to benefit refugee families on MasterChef seemed like the right thing to do.” Penn also urged his Twitter followers to get involved with the organization as well, echoing a call to action recently made by Secretary of State John Kerry. According to their website, “The mission of UNRWA USA is to promote a life of dignity and human development for Palestine refugees by informing the American public about UNRWA’s work and generating support for its programs through fundraising, education, and advocacy.” The organization also claims that 91% of all donations go directly to Palestinian refugees, funding education, healthcare, and social services for 5 million people located in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank areas including East Jerusalem, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. The UNRWA accepts donations through their website. Your Daily Dish has reached out to Kal Penn and the UNRWA for comment.