Tyler Perry wants to help residents in his adopted home of Atlanta and is also looking to ease tensions between residents and police. So he figured out a way to do both at once.
Perry donated 1,000 $50 Kroger store gift cards to Atlanta residents that were handed out door to door by police officers from the Atlanta Police Department on Thursday, July 16.
“This is about the community that I love, that I live in and work in,” Perry said in a statement. “This is about good people who are in need of a hand up not a hand out.”
“This is about the good police officers who do their job well every day some of which are my personal friends,” he added. “This is about trying to bridge unity in a city that adopted me and held me up high enough to reach my own branch on the tree of success.”
The gift cards were reportedly handed out in the Atlanta police districts of Zone 1 and Zone 3, and officers also donated groceries to Dunbar Recreation Center, located in the city’s southwest section.
“Thanks to @TylerPerry for donating $50 @Kroger gift cards to help us spread good will among the community in Zone 3 near the Wendy’s at 125 University Ave., which has been the center of many protests & unrest,” read a message on the Atlanta Police Department’s official Twitter page. “We must remember that we are #OneAtlanta & must work together to heal.”
The Wendy’s that was mentioned in the tweet is the same place where Rayshard Brooks was killed on June 12 and people protested afterward. Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man, was shot and killed by a white police officer from the Atlanta Police Department, who’s since been terminated and hit with 11 charges, including felony murder.
Perry quickly offered to pay for Brooks’ funeral and said he would pay college expenses for his four children when they get older.
The “Sistas” creator also offered to pay funeral costs for Secoriea Turner, an 8-year-old girl who was shot and killed on Saturday, July 4, after armed individuals near the same Wendy’s — which was burned down the day after Brooks was killed — shot at her mother’s vehicle at an illegal roadblock that had been set up in protest and occupied for weeks following Brooks’ death.
Perry’s assists to Atlanta residents did not begin there. In April he gave $500 tips to 42 laid-off servers apiece at an Atlanta Houston’s restaurant, which equaled $21,000.
Before that, he took care of a $178,000 layaway balance at a Walmart in Atlanta in 2018, weeks before Christmas. Shortly after that he paid off $256,000 of layaway balances at another Walmart in Douglasville, Georgia, with both payments totaling $434,000.