Celebrities get a lot of press for the philanthropy they do, and it’s usually big picture stuff. Donating to foundations, for example. Less often, a celebrity will do something so specific that it changes lives instantly. Tyler Perry just made some Georgia families’ Christmas even better than they ever imagined it could be.
Perry, 49, just paid off the layaways at two Atlanta Walmarts to the tune of $434,000. Yes, you read that correctly. Watch his video Tweet below.
I was trying to do this anonymously but oh well!!! pic.twitter.com/T0dhRHyU66
— Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) December 6, 2018
Here is the transcript of his video, in case you can’t watch it.
“Trying to do this anonymously but, um, due to some circumstances y’all know how nothing stays secret these days,” he said. “So, I just wanted to go ahead and tell you.”
“If you have a layaway at the Walmart at 844 Cleveland Avenue in East Point, Georgia — in Atlanta — or if you have a layaway at the Walmart at 7001 Concourse Parkway in Douglasville, Georgia — if you have a layaway at either place and it was in there as of 9:30 this morning, it was already in layaway before 9:30 this morning — I have paid for all of your layaways for Christmas.”
“You have to go into the Walmart, get your layaway, pay a penny — one penny — and you get your layaway,” he shared. “I know it’s hard times, a lot of people are struggling. I’m just really, really grateful to be able to be in a position to do this.”
Layaway programs allow customers to reserve items by putting down a small deposit. They have until a certain date to pay the item in full and pick it up in time for Christmas.
Walmart responded via Twitter.
Anonymous or not, we hope you know that you just made Christmas for so many families. You went above and beyond. Thank you 💙 #SparkKindness
— Walmart (@Walmart) December 6, 2018
Walmart spokesperson LeMis Jenkins told People that the number of customers directly affected is about 1,500.
“Tyler Perry’s generous donation is making an unbelievable difference for so many families, and we can’t thank him enough for his kindness,” she said in a statement. “The heartfelt excitement and joy we’re seeing from our customers as a result of his holiday gift has been touching.”
Perry added this:
“God bless you, go get your stuff, Merry Christmas!”
God bless YOU, Mr. Perry. You have blessed a lot of families this year and they will feel the impact immediately. Philanthropy just doesn’t get much better than that.