Tyler Perry is stepping up to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. The director announced in a Facebook video on Thursday, August 31, that he will be donating $1 million to organizations who are putting boots on the ground to assist victims of the storm that, according to CNN, has left 47 dead at latest count.
“What I’m seeing in Houston, the humanity, the caring for everybody — black, white, yellow, green, doesn’t matter — that is who we are as Americans,” the producer, 47, declared passionately in his video. Perry revealed that he’s given millions to various charities in the past, but had been dismayed to learn that the money didn’t often get to the people who needed it, so he now looks for groups he trusts who put “boots on the ground” to provide immediate help to those who need it.
And that trust extends to televangelist Joel Osteen, who was criticized after his Lakewood Church posted a Facebook message directing hurricane evacuees to a different nearby Houston shelter after Harvey hit. Osteen, 54, denied the claims and later explained on the Today show that his church had been coordinating with the city and that the city didn’t need Lakewood to act as a shelter right away, and opened its doors as soon as Houston asked them for help.
“I know there’s been some controversy about Joel Osteen and him not opening the doors of the church,” Perry admitted. “Let me tell you something: Joel and [his wife] Victoria are amazing people. There’s no way they would lock people out of the church and not let people in for shelter. There were some safety concerns. … I’m sending $250,000 to Lakewood to make sure that they can get all of the supplies people need, and I know that they will. … That’s the kind of person he is.”
The star also revealed that he is donating $250,000 to Beyonce’s pastor, Rudy Rasmus, who founded the Houston non-profit Bread of Life.
As for the final $500,000? Perry says he’s still trying to decide which groups to give the money to.
The director is one of many celebrities who has given huge sums to aid the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Donald Trump, Leonardo DiCaprio and Sandra Bullock have each donated $1 million each, while Miley Cyrus and the Kardashians have donated $500,000. In addition, Miranda Lambert has rescued more than 100 dogs from the floods, and Jamie Foxx will be hosting a star-studded telethon to raise money.
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