Tyler Perry is known for making generous donations to worthy causes — such as $1 million to the NAACP in 2009 and a $1 million pledge to help rebuild Haiti from the devastating 2010 quake — but financial giving is only part of the story. Perry hopes to motivate others to do their part, too.
“I subscribe to the idea that to whom much is given much is required,” says Perry.
Perry doesn’t like to talk about what or how much he’s given to worthy causes over the years. He says it’s not about money as much as it’s about inspiration.
“There was a woman profiled on ’60 Minutes’ recently who was helping all these children (injured by land mines) in the Middle East come (to the U.S.) for surgery,” he says. “It just has to move me. It could be anything.”
After seeing that “60 Minutes” piece, he sent $250,000 to the featured organization featured, the Global Medical Relief Fund.
While he makes similar donations to other national and international causes, Perry doesn’t wait for charities to come knocking but rather takes a proactive role. If he’s watching the local Atlanta news and learns about someone or an organization in need, he’ll have his team vet the organization, analyze its needs and find the best way to help.
It might mean buying new saddles to replace those stolen from a therapeutic riding school, rebuilding a family’s home following a house fire that left them homeless, or giving to keep open a center that teaches kids life skills via the game of chess.
Hunger, homelessness, diabetes and social injustice are among Perry’s pet causes, but if he sees a real need — especially from people or groups already doing good deeds — he’ll find a way to give them a hand up.
“I have family members who are lazy and not working, and if that’s you, you won’t be getting a dime from me,” Perry says. “People who are trying to move forward, helping others — I’m behind you and want to give to you.”
‘Payne’ yields pleasure for Perry, TBS | Perry’s bet on himself pays off handsomely | Charity no rarity | Pipeline full for Mr. ‘Deeds’ | Areu is right-hand man inside Perry’s empire | ‘Payne’ cast reflects on top memories