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.
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.
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.
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.
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 CantDoNothing.org.
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