Actor, playwright, filmmaker, and comedian Tyler Perry is largely known for playing the character Madea, but he has also garnered a reputation for being very generous with his fortune. Perry has a net worth of about $600 million that he’s earned from acting, directing, and producing. And he’s anything but stingy when it comes to what he does with all that dough.
Perry has donated millions of dollars over the years. He has written numerous checks to charitable organizations and people, many of whom are based in Atlanta, Georgia, where he lives. Perry is also very giving when it comes to his friends. Read on for some of his most incredible acts of generosity.
He Gave The NAACP $1 Million To Eliminate Racial Discrimination
In 2009, Perry donated $1 million to NAACP, America’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. He also purchased several lithographs commissioned by the organization to help fund it. Perry said of his donation, “I feel so honored and blessed to be in a position where I can give to the NAACP.”
He added, “I continue to be thankful for the tireless work of the NAACP, and I am proud to be able to help in their mission to fight for the equality of all people, and to work towards the elimination of discrimination against race.” The photo here shows Perry with actress Halle Berry at the 40th NAACP Image Awards that same year.
He Bought A Mother A New Car So She Could Take Her Son To Lifesaving Medical Appointments
In 2017, Carmellia Burgess in Georgia was struggling with a sick child. Her toddler, AJ, who had been waiting for a kidney transplant his whole life, was battling a potentially deadly infection and contracted pneumonia. Unfortunately, his mother didn’t have the transportation to take her son to his hemodialysis appointments three times a week.
Perry saw her post on Facebook and gave Burgess a new car. She posted a picture of her new SUV and wrote, “OMGG…I’m soo overjoyed…I was in tears…Thank you Tyler Perry (Madea) for blessing/buying my kids & I a new car. We are forever grateful…I love you I love I love you.”
He Gave The Dying Mother Of A Former Colleague A $350,000 House
Tyler Perry gave his former colleague and gospel singer LaShun Pace an extraordinary gift in 2018. He presented her sick mother with her own home. Perry bought Pace’s mother Bettie a $350,000 house to grant her dying wish to own a home and have a place where her family could live in Atlanta.
“Tyler Perry, thank you son,” Bettie said in a video reveal. “Thank you for the house. God bless you.” LaShun also said, “Now you see what happens when you just live right and become Tyler Perry’s friend.
He Bumped Up His Donation To Victims Of The Haiti Earthquake From $250,000 To $1 Million
After the people of Haiti were devastated by an earthquake in 2010, Perry donated $250,000. “I can assure you that every dime, 100% of what you give, will get to an organization that will use it to help the Haitian people,” Perry wrote on his website while soliciting donations.
But he didn’t stop there. Shortly afterwards, he raised his personal donation to $1 million. “I did this realizing that after the next big story comes along, the news media will pack up and leave the people of Haiti to fend for themselves,” he explained.
He Bought A Great-Grandmother A New Home After Hers Burned Down Right Before Christmas
In 2010, the filmmaker donated funds to rebuild 88-year-old Rosa Lee Ransby’s home after it was destroyed by a fire that she and her four-year-old great-granddaughter escaped from in Atlanta. She lost all the possessions she owned in the home where she lived for 40 years.
Perry visited the burned-down property and told Ransby he’d pay for her rent and utilities and supply her with furniture while she waited for her new home to be constructed (which he also offered to pay for).
He Paid For All Layaway Items At Two Atlanta Walmarts
In early December 2018, the filmmaker selected two Walmart stores in the Atlanta area and paid the remaining balance of everything that happened to be on layaway, totaling over $400,000. The two Walmarts were located in Douglasville and East Point. He tried to do the deed anonymously, but the secret got out.
Perry posted an explanation on Instagram saying, “I know it’s hard times and a lot of people are struggling.” Fans were blown over by his support, and one wrote: “So inspirational. I pray that one day, I will be in a position to be a blessing to many just like you.”
His Layaway Contribution Inspired Similar Acts Of Kindness By Other Celebs
After Perry paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for layaway items at two stores from his native Georgia, political commentator and radio host Glenn Beck (pictured above) was inspired to do the same. The radio personality decided to pay the existing balances of all layaway accounts at a Walmart in North Richland Hills, Texas.
Beck then encouraged his listeners to get on board. “You don’t have to spend the money that Tyler Perry or I spent. You can just go in and just give $100, or $50, or $10,” he said. “You are not going to believe what a difference it makes.” Cindy Crawford was also inspired by Perry’s generous donation and followed suit.
He Helped Out When Twin Toddlers Died In A Hot Car
In 2016, Perry paid for the funeral expenses for twin 16-month-old girls in Carroll County, Georgia. The sisters died after being left in a hot SUV. “I really appreciate it,” Breal Ellis told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “This has shown me everyone has to love one another.”
The girls’ father inadvertently left the twins in the back of his Nissan Rogue, and by the time the family realized the situation, the girls had already passed away. At the time, their mother was visiting her sister at the hospital after she was critically injured in a car crash.
He Promises To Help Rebuilding Efforts In The Bahamas Following Hurricane Dorian
After Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas in 2019, an estimated 13,000 houses were either severely damaged or destroyed. According to the U.N., more than 60,000 people are in need of food. Perry decided to help out.
He posted on social media, “To all the incredible people of the Bahamas who have welcomed me and called me an adoptive son, I want you to know that I am watching closely, and as soon as I can, I will be there to do whatever I can to help you rebuild stronger and better. You’re not only in my heart and my prayers, you’re in my blood. God bless you. Stay Bahamas strong. The sun will shine again. #HurricaneDorian.”
He Bought Gayle King & Oprah Winfrey New Luxury Cars
Sometimes rich people give their friends gifts, and they can be quite pricey. Several years back Perry decided to give a couple of his friends some really expensive gifts for no particular reason. Gayle King explained during an interview with Vanity Fair:
“He called to take me and Oprah to lunch, and Tyler pulled up in this gorgeous Bentley. Oprah liked it, so he sent her the same exact car. I called Tyler and told him how amazing that was because nobody ever does anything like that for her, on such a grand scale. And, so, the next day when I got home, there was a Bentley in my driveway!”
He Donated $100,000 In Scholarships To A Middle School In Ohio
In 2013, Perry, who was born in New Orleans and now lives in Atlanta, showed up at a concert at Finland Middle School in Columbus, Ohio, and donated $100,000 to a foundation created by teacher Mary Mulvany to provide college scholarships for students from the region’s schools.
“Hundreds of kids will be helped by what he did,” said Mulvaney. Perry learned about the foundation while watching television and explained, “I want to sponsor as many kids as I can.”
He Donated $100,000 To Help Runaway & Homeless Youths
In 2009, Perry gave $100,000 and a 15-passenger van to Covenant House in Georgia. The facility provides shelter and other services for homeless and runaway youths.
“God bless Mr. Perry for this incredible gift to our kids,” said Covenant House president Kevin Ryan. “The van will be used to rescue young people from the hopelessness of the street. His generous donation will provide immediate help to kids in crisis as well as the long-term support that will transform their lives.”
He Paid A Family’s Funeral Expenses & Rent After The Mother Was Shot Outside A Bank
After Tynesha Evans, 45, an author and full-time healthcare worker, was fatally shot outside a bank in Alpharetta, Georgia, her children started a GoFundMe page to raise money to pay for her funeral and other bills. They also feared they would get evicted from their apartment.
Evans’ 18-year-old daughter also worried she would have to drop out of Spelman College. When Perry heard the story, he offered to pay for the funeral and six months of rent. “There’s really no words to describe how I feel,” said daughter Audrey Turner. “Because not only is he going to help my mom with her funeral, he’s going to help with my living situation.”
He Offered Former ‘Cosby Show’ Star & Out-Of-Work Actor Geoffrey Owens A Job
After former “Cosby Show” actor Geoffery Owens was publicly shamed for earning a living by bagging groceries at Trader Joe’s in New Jersey, Perry offered him a job. He wrote on social media, “I’m about to start shooting OWN’s number one drama next week! Come join us!!! I have so much respect for people who hustle between gigs. The measure of a true artist.”
Owens told Entertainment Tonight, “So that’s a very, very generous thing for him to say. And we’ll see what happens with that. But that’s encouraging.”
He Was Very Supportive After Hurricane Harvey Ravaged Houston, Texas
Hurricane Harvey was devastating to the Houston, Texas, community in 2017. Perry offered a lot of financial support and kept on giving even a year following the catastrophe. In 2018, he visited Lakewood Church and donated $250,000 to assist in their Harvey Relief efforts.
Some of the funds went to Tammy Perry, a mother of three, who lost everything in the hurricane. Her husband died in 2011 and she had an autistic son. She was alone with three kids when the hurricane hit. “It was rough,” Perry said. “I told God, if I ever needed You, I need You right now.”
He Wrote A Large Check For At-Risk Young Men In South Florida
In 2018, Perry was the keynote speaker at the 25th annual 5000 Role Models of Excellence scholarship program in South Florida. The organization mentors and supports at-risk young men. During the scholarship breakfast, Perry told the crowd, “I looked at your faces coming down the aisle and I got emotional.”
Perry then wrote the group a $100,000 check. U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson of Miami founded the program in 1993. Perry’s gift was intended to help the young people get a leg up in pursuing the American dream.
He Left An Enormous $500 Tip While Dining Out With Janet Jackson
In 2017, Perry was eating at Green Vegetarian Cuisine in San Antonio with Janet Jackson when he decided to leave a very substantial tip. Specifically, he left a $500 tip on a $27 check.
The waitress’s husband explained on Facebook, “It couldn’t have came at a better time. He didn’t have to tip like that but for some reason out of the kindness of his heart he did.” He added during an interview that his wife was shocked. “It feels good to have something unexpectedly come back our way,” he added. “It really helped us out a lot.”
He Gave Colleague Tiffany Haddish Her Dream Car
Actress/comedienne Tiffany Haddish was stunned in 2018 when Perry gave her a new car. Haddish told Perry that a new Tesla was her dream car during the making of the film Nobody’s Fool, and he fulfilled her dream.
“When your career first takes off, start making a little money and you’re worried, ‘Is this it? Is this it? Have I made it? Have I made it?’ So you put all the money aside. You don’t want to spend it. I know that feeling. I’ve been there. What I learned over the years is it’s okay to spend a little bit,” said Perry.
He Helped Save A Homeless Youth Shelter From Shutting Down
Young People Matter is a youth shelter for homeless children aged 18 and younger Atlanta. In 2014, Perry gave the organization $45,000 so it could keep operating through the end of the year. The problem was that federal funding was running out and had yet to be renewed.
A 17-year-old resident named Deja said, “It only took one person to help us and without him. Praises unto God because we wouldn’t have made it.” Another resident named Emmanuel said, “It made me realize somebody had been in my shoes, somebody understands and cares.”
He Bought A Specialized Van For A Disabled Women After Hers Was Stolen
When a Georgia woman with cerebral palsy had her van stolen in Georgia in 2012, Perry came to the rescue. Alicia Day’s $60,000 specialized 2000 Chrysler Town and Country van, which included a lift for a wheelchair, was stolen from her driveway.
“My mouth just dropped to the floor when I heard his voice,” 24-year-old Day said of his gift. Her story was featured on WSB-TV, and Perry saw it. He then offered to get her a replacement. Day’s mother uses the vehicle to transport Alicia to and from doctor appointments and to go to work every day.