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Why Aren't We Talking About the This Is Us Star Who's Saving Refugees?

Allie Gemmill is an avid writer, cinephile, Ravenclaw, and pizza enthusiast. She regularly writes on film and television with a special focus on women’s involvement & influence in Hollywood. Additionally, she has bylines at Bustle, Keyfr...

Why This Is Us star Milana Vayntrub deserves our attention right now

Without a doubt, the cast of This Is Us is one of the hottest, most recognizable casts working on television right now. While we may naturally settle our focus on leads Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, Chrissy Metz or Sterling K. Brown (all of these actors rightly deserve our attention), there's one star on This Is Us who is doing some vital humanitarian work outside of her starring gig that deserves a spotlight.

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She plays Sloane Sandburg on This Is Us, but in real life, actor Milana Vayntrub is the co-founder of Can't Do Nothing, an organization committed to helping refugees in desperate need of care and assistance. The organization urges others to take an active role in helping in the refugee crisis currently at the forefront of many international social and political issues. This is an admirable initiative being taken on by an actor with the means to make change happen; her work should serve as the impetus for us, the non-famous folk of the world, to sit up and take notice.

#MovementMondays Milana Vayntrub is an American actress & comedian born in Tashkent, Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic. She moved to Los Angeles with her parents at the age of three, fleeing religious persecution. She started acting in commercials at the age of five, due in part to her family's financial problems. She also starred in College Humor videos & launched her own Youtube comedy channel. She has taken minor roles in TV & movies. Since November 2013, she has portrayed a saleswoman named "Lily Adams" in a series of TV commercials for AT&T. In January 2016, after visiting Greece and meeting with refugee families fleeing the Syrian Civil War, Vayntrub co-founded a website and social media movement called #CantDoNothing to spotlight the European migrant crisis. She currently appears in the television series This is Us. For all you do Milana we celebrate you! #MovementMondays

A post shared by Gina Rodriguez (@hereisgina) on

According to the Can't Do Nothing website, Vayntrub was inspired to create her organization with entrepreneur Eron Zehavi after she took a trip with her father to Greece. For those who may be unaware, the Grecian isle of Lesbos has become a Syrian refugee haven since the crisis in Syria broke out. Every day, dozens upon dozens of families pile into life rafts and flee to the safety of Grecian shores. Vayntrub's experience with the great influx of refugees into Lesbos led to Can't Do Nothing, and now, Can't Do Nothing is hoping to lead the way for others to get involved in the refugee crisis too.

To be clear, I was astounded to find this out. Not the refugee crisis, mind you, but Vayntrub's connection to the refugee crisis, and more important, why she wasn't being asked about Can't Do Nothing more frequently. This is an incredible organization with a clear, simple message: Get involved and do your best to help other people in need. To me, that's a message worth spreading.

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Vayntrub's personal connection to the Syrian refugee crisis is hardly negligible either. Vayntrub was born in Uzbekistan and her family was forced to flee in the early '90s. Persecuted for their Jewish faith, the Vayntrubs fled the Soviet Union and came to America in search of freedom, stability and a better life; Vayntrub's work with Can't Do Nothing is indicative of her hopes to bring those ideals to Syrian refugees too.

Vayntrub has peppered her Instagram with photos from her work in Syrian refugee camps. She has also made it a point to spread the hashtag #CantDoNothing on all social media platforms in an attempt to help raise awareness for the program's initiatives.

Morning music rehearsal at the school supported by @thesyriafund! #songsforsyrians #CantDoNothing #tiktiktik

A post shared by Milana Vayntrub (@mintmilana) on

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Vayntrub is not only turning in a stellar performance as Sloane on This Is Us, but her work to raise awareness and affect people's hearts enough to inspire them to take action on behalf of the Syrian refugees is truly admirable stuff. For more information on what you can do to help, go to

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

Why This Is Us star Milana Vayntrub deserves our attention right now

Image: NBC
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