Tyler Perry has pledged $1 million for Harvey relief and recovery efforts after taking time to carefully select the recipients.
“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. And I’m so proud of everyone who is helping so many people there,” he said in a Facebook video, contrasting this week’s relief efforts against the recent violence in Charlottesville, Va.
The mastermind behind the popular “Madea” franchise said he delayed his donation a bit because he wasn’t happy with the amount that went directly to those in need during the Hurricane Katrina aftermath in 2005.
“I was looking for people who were boots on the ground, who could help immediately, people that I trust, people that I know are going to do the right thing,” Perry said.
So far, he said, he’s given $250,000 each to pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church and the same to efforts involving Houston native Beyoncé's pastor, Rudy Rasmus. The balance of the money will be distributed later.
“I know that there’s been some controversy about Joel Osteen and him not opening the doors of the church,” Perry acknowledged. “Joel and [his wife] Victoria are amazing people — there’s no way that they would lock people out of the church or not let people seek shelter.”
Lakewood opened the doors of its 16,000-seat, 606,000-square-foot facility to Harvey victims late Tuesday morning, but before that rumors circulated that the megachurch had locked out people who were fleeing the storm.
Perry had given a heads-up about his intentions earlier this week.
“Sitting here heartbroken for this mother of two!!,” Perry wrote Tuesday on Facebook, where he included video of a woman on CNN cussing out a reporter for trying to interview her when what she needed was help.
“I’m trying to figure out how to help, but I’ve given millions of dollars to charities in the past that never got to the people it was meant for,” he wrote. “I know lots of people want to give and help but be careful. You really need to know how much of your donations actually get to the people before you choose an organization to give to.”
Beyoncé told the Houston Chronicle on Monday that she was working with her BeyGOOD foundation and St. John’s Church pastor Rasmus on “a plan to help as many as we can.” Ramus confirmed to “Entertainment Tonight” that the singer had made “a significant donation.” The BeyGOOD site on Friday was suggesting donating to the Greater Houston Community Foundation’s Harvey relief fund or Bread of Life, Rasmus’ charity.