8 Times Tyler Perry Used His Platform to Give Back

He's an actor, writer, director and still finds the time to give back to those in need. In honor of him being honored at the 2021 Oscars, let's look back at Tyler Perry's most charitable moments.

By Vannessa Jackson Apr 26, 2021 2:30 AMTags
Watch: Tyler Perry Reveals What It Means to Be the People's Champ

Tyler Perry's legacy grows more impressive with each passing year.

It's safe to say that the actor and producer has become one of the most sought after entertainers in Hollywood. He built his own multi-million dollar studio, keeps churning out hit movies and TV shows and he's not yet done creating change in the industry.

With all of those incredible accolades under his belt, the writer, director, actor and producer could just rest on his laurels, but instead he has chosen to use his platform and resources to continually give back to those in need.

His charitable and philanthropic endeavors off-screen are even more extraordinary than the milestones he's typically spotlighted for. Perry finds ways to create real impact, whether it's paying for the funerals of victims who have died in custody amid protests against police brutality or providing scholarships to people whose stories have touched him.

He's not only a champion in entertainment, but an all-around inspiration for how to be an inspiring human being, and that's why he was honored with the People's Champion Award at the 2020 E! People's Choice Awards and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 2021 Oscars.

Every Star in Red At the 2021 Oscars

Here are just a handful of the many of times Perry has given back to the community...

NAACP Donation

In 2009, he made the largest-ever individual contribution—$1 million dollars—to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The gift was made to commemorate the organization's centennial anniversary. The NAACP is the country's oldest and largest civil rights organization. The star also purchased several NAACP commissioned Jacob Lawrence lithographs and additional lithographs by celebrated artists Jonathan Green, Elizabeth Catlett and Sam Gilliam.

Funeral Expenses

In June of 2020, Perry volunteered to cover funeral expenses for Rayshard Brooks, a Black man killed in police custody. Perry will also cover the college education of Brooks' four children. 

Grocery Shopping Payments

Perry has been on the front lines offering his support to people whose lives have been turned upside down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Perry paid for all the groceries belonging to elderly shoppers at 44 Kroger stores in Atlanta and 29 Winn Dixie stores in his native New Orleans in April 2020.

Christmas Deals

In December 2018, the movie mogul covered $434,000 worth of layaways for an estimated 1,500 people at two Walmarts in Atlanta ahead of the holidays. While he tried to keep the gift a secret, he ultimately shared the news in a personal video on his Instagram and wished everyone a happy holiday.

Disaster Relief

After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Perry took it upon himself to use his foundation to help rebuild. He pledged $1 million via his foundation. In 2017, he also offered financial support to those affected by 2017's Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, as well as Hurricane Dorian in 2019. 

Helping Out Friends

Perry's friend LaShun Pace, a premier Gospel singer, was in poor health and Perry purchased a $350,000 home not far from Atlanta for his mom, where many members of the Pace family grew up. This wasn't the first time he bought a home for someone in need. In 2009, when 88-year-old Atlanta resident Rosa Lee Ransby and her 4-year-old great-granddaughter escaped alive from a fire that destroyed the home she owned for 40+ years Perry heard about it from a local news channel and visited Ransby's home and offered to rent a house for her on the same street, with utilities and furniture provided.

Walt Disney World Trip

When Perry learned that a group of 65 children from a daycare of mostly minorities were not allowed to return to a suburban Philadelphia swim club due to racism, he gifted the entire group a trip to Walt Disney World with all expenses paid.

Helping Restauraunt Workers

Once again, amid the coronavirus pandemic that swept much of the country, Perry found a way to provide a helping hand. He shocked one staff at an Atlanta restaurant in April 2020 by leaving a $21,000 tip, which equals out to $500 for each of the restaurants 42 out-of-work members of the staff.

(Originally published Oct. 27, 2020 at 5 a.m. PT)