Another celebrity joins the surge of donations flowing in after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.
American actor, comedian, filmmaker, and songwriter Tyler Perry said he is donating a combined total of $1 million to relief efforts in a Facebook video he shared to his own page on Thursday.
According to the USA Today, he is working with Beyonce’s pastor Rudy Rasmus and will give $250,000 of his donation to the Bread of Life, a charity dedicated to helping Houston residents in need.
Out of his $1 million donation, Perry also announced that he would be giving $250,000 to Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church. Osteen has recently faced criticism for allegedly closing his church doors to evacuees.
In Perry’s video, he also defends Osteen.
“I know that there’s been some controversy about Joel Osteen and him not opening the doors of the church,” Perry said. “Let me tell you something. Joel and Victoria are amazing people. There’s no way that they would lock people out of the church or not let people in for shelter.”
“There were some safety concerns, and I spoke to them on the phone, and it all made perfect sense to me,” Perry went on to say in the video. “So, before you just run and judge someone real quick, you need to know the whole circumstances.”
Houston pastor Osteen disputed the claims he had purposely closed the doors amid Harvey.
“(The city) didn’t need us as shelter then,” Osteen told Today. “If we needed to be a shelter, we certainly would’ve been a shelter right when they first asked.
“Once they filled up, they never dreamed that we’d have this many displaced people, (and) they asked us to become a shelter. I think this notion that somehow we would turn people away or we weren’t here for the city is about as false as can be.”
The pastor made the comments after word spread on social media last Saturday accusing him of not offering the church as a shelter for Texans affected by the flooding waters.
A few days later on Aug. 29, Osteen said in a Tweet that he would be opening the doors to any person that needed shelter. The megachurch can fit about 16,000 people in total.
Perry said in the video that he is still thinking about which organizations to donate to.
“Make sure you are giving to people that are getting the monies directly to the people that need it” he reminded viewers.
“If you want to give, I will challenge you to find someone who has boots on the ground and who can really be effective,” he added.
The video has gone viral, gaining over 19,000 shares, and over 39,000 reactions, and over 1.6 million views.