Hollywood Celebs Do Something Amazing For Syrian Refugees

December 29th 2015

Taylor Bell

Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen and actress Isla Fisher just paid it forward in a big way by donating $1 million to Syrian refugees — and they're just the most recent celebrities to offer help to Syrian refugees.

Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher

The couple split the donation between two charities: Save the Children, and the International Rescue Committee, which provide healthcare and education among other things to people in Syria and beyond, Yahoo reports.

Related: U.S. States Welcome Syrian Refugees as Others Refuse

The portion for Save the Children will go toward funding more than 250,000 measles vaccinations for children in northern Syria, while the other half will go toward aiding Syrian refugees and their families--especially women and children, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

"By allowing us to make their generous donation to Syrian children public, Sacha and Isla are helping highlight the tragedy of the issue today," Save the Children CEO Justin Forsyth said in a statement. "The couple’s donation will save many thousands of lives and protect some of the most vulnerable children.”

"Now is the time for us to double down on commitments to civilians caught up in the Syria conflict," president and CEO of International Rescue Committee David Milibrand said in a statement. "These people are victims of terror. As hope for the end of conflict recedes, it is all the more important to meet the most basic human needs. Sacha and Isla's donation is a great expression of humanity, and a challenge to do more for the most vulnerable."

Related: Virginia Mayor Shows How NOT to Respond to the Refugee Crisis

With the recent terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, the Syrian refugee crisis has taken on a whole new meaning. The U.S. and other countries have been hesitant to accept refugees out of fear of unknowingly allowing in terrorists. But this fear (shared by many countries) has prompted criticism from celebrities.

Author J.K. Rowling criticized British Prime Minister David Cameron's position on refugees, calling it "utterly shameful," TIME reports. In a tweet she expressed her disapproval.

Actress Olivia Wilde also voiced her criticism on social media. In a tweet the actress praised Iceland's acceptance of refugees while taking a jab at republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's controversial proposed ban on Muslims entering the U.S.

Back in April United Nations Goodwill Ambassador and actress Angelina Jolie called out world leaders of the U.N. Security Council for not taking more action to help dissolve the conflict in Syria and aid refugees, Yahoo reports.

Angelina Jolie at U.N.

"We cannot look at Syria, and the evil that has arisen from the ashes of indecision, and think this is not the lowest point in the world's inability to protect and defend the innocent," Jolie said. "It is sickening to see thousands of refugees drowning on the doorstep of the world's wealthiest continent. No one risks the lives of their children in this way except out of utter desperation."

But other celebrities have taken more practical approaches to support Syrian refugees.

Earlier this month, actor Edward Norton started a Crowdrise campaign and raised more than $400,000 for a Syrian man he calls "the Scientist" who lost seven family members in a deadly attack on his home in Syria, according to CNN. Norton stumbled upon the man's story on the website "Humans of New York" and felt compelled to reach out.

In a post on Crowdrise, Norton explained:

"This man has suffered profound loss that would crush the spirit of many people and yet he still passionately wants a chance to contribute positively to the world. If we don't welcome people like this into our communities and empower his dream of making an impact with his life, then we're not the country we tell ourselves we are. Let's reject the 'anti-human' voices that tell us to fear refugees and show this man and his family what Americans are really made of."

Also, as ATTN: previously reported "Homeland" star and activist Mandy Patinkin appeared in a video for the International Rescue Committee talking about the importance of embracing refugees. And after wrapping up his fifth season of "Homeland" Patinkin visited Syrian refugees in Greece where he experienced the plight of most refugees traveling on boats.

Mandy Patinkin in Greece

In September actor Benedict Cumberbatch partnered with Save the Children by participating in a drive to raise money for Syrian refugees, according to EW. In the video below the actor highlighted the importance of helping Syria's displaced and urged people to donate money for Syria's war victims.

The U.N. estimates that 9 million people have fled Syria since the outbreak of civil war in 2011. In addition, more than three million people have taken refuge in Syria's neighboring countries while 6.5 million people remain internally displaced in Syria.

Related: Canadians Welcome Syrian Refugees With A Heartwarming Trending Hashtag