Atlanta Buzz

Atlanta people and places

Tyler Perry meets a special group of children grateful for his support

Entertainment mogul Tyler Perry is known not only for his screen and stage work but also his charitable nature.

Tyler Perry with kids at Young People Matter

Last year he made a $45,000 donation to Young People Matter, an Atlanta youth shelter for girls younger than 18, to celebrate his own 45th birthday. He also stepped in and kept a single mom of a disabled teen from being evicted by paying her rent for a year.

In 2012 he provided a new van for a disabled woman after seeing on the news that hers had been stolen.

He's provided food for Hosea Feed the Hungry (now known as Hosea Helps) clients.

More recently Perry met a group of  Tanzanian children with hereditary albinism, who are being cared for by the Global Medical Relief Fund.

Monica Watson, from left, Emmanuel Rutema, Elissa Montanti, Tyler Perry, Mwigulu Magesa, Pendo Noni and Baraka Lusambo. Photo: courtesy of Global Medical Relief Fund.

In their home country the children are hunted for their body parts, believed to have magical powers. Their limbs "can fetch thousands of dollars on the black market as ingredients in witch doctors’ potions said to give the user wealth and good luck," the AP reported.

Several years ago Perry donated funds to help build the "Dare to Dream" home in New York, where the children stay while receiving care.

"It means a lot to us," said Global Medical Relief Fund founder Elissa Montati. "We struggle."

A segment on her organization that aired on "60 Minutes" caught Perry's attention and he got in touch.

"He's a doll," Montati said. "He's so special."

When she saw that Perry's traveling show "Madea on the Run" was coming to the Beacon Theatre in New York, Montati reached out to his camp. She brought children living in the "Dare to Dream" home to meet their benefactor.

"They really, really loved it," she said.

Not that they exactly grasped who he was. Given that their very survival can be a struggle, the children are unfamiliar with Perry the celebrity. But they all adore Perry the good-hearted donor. Before the performance the night of their encounter, Perry led cast members in a prayer for the children he is helping.

"They don't know who Tyler Perry is but they know they have a bright, happy home because of Tyler Perry," Montati said. "He's a wonderful guy, a real person with a warm heart. It meant a lot to the kids."

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

Most read

  1. 1 Suwanee and South Atlanta, two worlds apart | Bill Torpy
  2. 2 ‘Inexcusable': Roswell mayor responds to video of coin-toss arrest
  3. 3 CVS apologizes after white manager called police on black woman using

About the Author

Jennifer Brett is a multiplatform journalist and digital coach. She writes The Buzz blog for

More from AJC