Having pledged $ 1 million to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts late Thursday night, film personality Tyler Perry joins an elite list of high profile donors towards the cause including names like Mark Zuckerberg, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sandra Bullock, and none other than POTUS himself.
The actor and filmmaker made the announcement through a video message on Facebook making a case in favor of Pastor Joel Osteen at the very outset of his address. Osteen has lately faced the brunt of public ire for not allowing people displaced by the floods in the aftermath of Harvey, to take shelter in the Lakewood Church which has a capacity to accommodate 16,800 people.
Osteen has denied the charges on NBC’s Today stressing that the church doors “have always been open” but it was due to the flood situation that the church had become temporarily inaccessible.
However, the Pastor’s attempt to defend his church did not go down well with people when he told the media that the city “didn’t ask” for his help. “If you need a shelter we could have been a shelter from day one if they wanted that,” Osteen said to Good Morning America on August 30.
“You just have to be here to see that, No. 1, the city runs the shelters, what they need us to do – they asked us for a distribution center and you see hundreds and thousands of volunteers came out,” he added.
Perry defended the Pastor in his Thursday video message saying “I know that there’s been some controversy about Joel Osteen and him not opening the doors of the church. Let me tell you something: Joel and Victoria are amazing people. There is 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 added. “So, before you just run and judge someone real quick, you need to know the whole circumstances.”
He then went on to announce the $1 million donation revealing his plans to split the donation three ways to ensure speedy disbursement of the funds directly to the victims in need of help and rehabilitation.
He said that $250,000 would be handed over to Beyoncé’s pastor Rudy Rasmus and another $250,000 would go to Osteen’s Lakewood Church “to make sure that they can get all of the supplies that people need and I know that they will.”
He plans to hold on to the remaining half million dollars till he is able to find the right charities that would ensure quick disbursement directly towards relief work. Before signing off he appealed to all and sundry not only to donate whatever they could but to also “find the charity that will get the money to the people.”