This article was originally published on EW.Tyler Perry is making sure his donation gets into the right hands.
The “Madea” creator, 47, announced Thursday on his Facebook page that he is donating $1 million to relief efforts in Texas following the destruction left by Hurricane Harvey — $250,000 of which is going to Joel Osteen‘s Lakewood Church.
“I know that there’s been some controversy about Joel Osteen and him not opening the doors of the church,” Perry said. “Joel and Victoria are amazing people — there’s no way that they would lock people out of the church or not let people seek shelter.”
“There were some safety concerns, and I spoke to them on the phone, and it all made perfect sense to me,” Perry continued. “So, before you just run and judge someone real quick, you need to know the whole circumstances.”
On Saturday, Osteen received heavy criticism on social media when he tweeted prayers for those affected by the storm — with many questioning why Lakewood Church was not being offered as a sanctuary.
By Tuesday, Osteen had announced on Twitter that Lakewood’s doors were opening, and hundreds of volunteers gathered to help collect and organize donation items and supplies.
During an appearance on Today, the celebrity televangelist explained why Lakewood Church (which can hold more than 16,000 people) didn’t initially welcome evacuees from the hurricane — a decision that brought a wave of criticism against Osteen.
“[The city] didn’t need us as shelter then,” Osteen said. “We coordinate with them all the time. If we needed to be a shelter, we certainly would’ve been a shelter right when they first asked.”
On top of donating to Osteen’s church to make sure they “can get all the supplies that people need,” Perry is also donating $250,000 to Beyoncé’s pastor, Rudy Rasmus, who the Lemonade singer is working with to aid in relief efforts, according to The Houston Chronicle.
Perry said he is still considering other organizations to donate to, telling viewers, “Make sure you are giving to people that are getting the monies directly to the people that need it.”
“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.
TOPICS: Tyler Perry