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Edward Norton helps raise $400,000 for Syrian refugee

Edward Norton has turned the tide for one Syrian refugee.

The "Birdman" actor was moved to tears after he saw a Humans of New York post about an unnamed man called the Scientist, who lost his wife and daughter in a bombing and is now fighting stomach cancer. The Scientist has since moved to Troy, Michigan.

The story was so moving that even President Obama commented on Facebook, calling the man and his family an inspiration.

Norton decided to take action and asked Humans of New York creator Brandon Stanton if he could set up a fundraiser for the Scientist.

"Yesterday I got an email from Edward Norton, asking if he could host a fundraiser for the scientist in Tuesday's story," wrote Stanton. "I said: 'Of course Edward Norton. Also, you were awesome in Birdman. Also, let's hang out.' I've rarely been shaken by a story more than the scientist's. His life had been so tragic, but throughout the entire interview, he kept returning to his desire to help mankind."

Norton wrote on Crowdrise, "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. Let's show that a country built by the energy and dreams of immigrants still believes in brave people who come here with hope for better life."

The fundraiser collected more than $400,000. The average donation was only $29, which indicates the sheer number of people who pitched in.

Norton wants people to know, though, that he didn't set up the fundraiser for political reasons, though he did say anti-immigrant sentiment by politicians was "cynical."

"I don't think politicians who engage in that kind of fear mongering are acting on that [general] anxiety," he told MSNBC. "I think they're acting very cynical."

"To be super clear, I didn't have any kind of political objective with this and it's not almost in any way a political act or political commentary," he added.

In January, Humans of New York launched a fundraiser for kids at a school in a low-income neighborhood and raised over $1 million.

Yesterday I got an email from Edward Norton, asking if he could host a fundraiser for the scientist in Tuesday’s story. ...

Posted by Humans of New York on Saturday, December 12, 2015

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