Actor, writer, and director Tyler Perry is looking out for seniors and immunocompromised folks amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Perry, 50, paid for elderly shoppers’ groceries at 44 Kroger stores in Atlanta and 29 Winn-Dixies in New Orleans, shopping during the designated hour reserved for seniors and immunocompromised individuals. Their grocery receipts were signed “Atlanta Angel.”
CONFIRMED: @tylerperry paid for all groceries during Seniors Hour at 44 Atlanta-area @Kroger stores. Look at these faces -- you can see the smiles and tears through the masks! pic.twitter.com/MIm7F5Hssr— Brendan Keefe (@BrendanKeefe) April 8, 2020
This is not the first time the Atlanta resident and New Orleans native has given back to the community. In 2018, Perry paid off almost $500,000 in layaway balances at Walmarts in Atlanta.
And just this week, the movie mogul shelled out $21,000 to tip out each and every out of work server at Houston’s restaurant in Atlanta. Each employee received $500.
One New Orleans woman, Lori Freehling, posted about the surprise she got at the grocery check out.
“She said, ‘He just paid for your groceries as his random act of kindness,'” Freehling wrote. “‘Really?’ I said as my eyes teared up, thanking her as she handed me my receipt. Thank you Tyler Perry!”
Freehling was so touched by the act of generosity, she matched his donation toward her grocery bill at a food bank.
“To pay it forward, I made a donation in your honor to Second Harvest Food Bank for what would have been the cost of my groceries today.”
Many others, including Kroger and Winn-Dixie, thanked Perry for his kindness on social media.
👏 @tylerperry paid it forward and purchased groceries for nearly 3,000 senior shoppers today at Kroger stores across Atlanta. You can see how much this means by the look on their faces. Thank you, Tyler, for your generosity! 💙 pic.twitter.com/L57nfNqm3g— Kroger (@kroger) April 8, 2020
Thank you to our friend @tylerperry for paying it forward by purchasing groceries for elderly and high-risk #winndixie customers shopping at Louisiana stores this morning. Winn-Dixie applauds your love for community and sincere generosity. #StrongerTogether #WinningTogether https://t.co/hHZGhy15oT— Winn-Dixie (@WinnDixie) April 8, 2020
@tylerperry Thank you Sir for my wonderful blessing this morning with the purchase of my groceries from Winn Dixie! I was totally surprised and very grateful. The early bird gets the warm. #randomactofkindness #Godblessyoutylerperry #Grateful4You #Godsvessell— Debra Batiste (@dab141) April 8, 2020
Thank you @tylerperry for what you did for the people in Louisiana! You EARNER everything you have and we’re grateful for you giving back...especially the seniors. 👏🏾 🙏🏾— Jasmine Carter (@JasmineEnjoli) April 8, 2020
@tylerperry is a wonderful man and we love him here in Atlanta. He does kind gracious things like this all of the time. He does all of this behind the scenes and is a true hero!— ugagator (@JillPuterbaugh) April 8, 2020
Perry is committed to using his platform to stay involved when his fans and community need it most.
Just before footing the bill for seniors’ groceries, Perry shared photos of hairstylist and colleague Charles Gregory who recently died from coronavirus.
Perry’s Instagram post reads, “Today it’s with a heavy heart that I inform you of the passing of one of our crew members. Mr. Charles Gregory was a hairstylist that had worked with us for many years. The man was warm, loving and hilarious. We all loved to see him coming and hear his laughter… Charles lost his battle with COVID-19 today. It saddens me to think of him dying this way. My sincerest prayers are with his family.”
View this post on Instagram
Dear Black People, Today it’s with a heavy heart that I inform you of the passing of one of our crew members. Mr. Charles Gregory was a hairstylist that had worked with us for many years. The man was warm, loving and hilarious. We all loved to see him coming and hear his laughter. Charles lost his battle with COVID-19 today. It saddens me to think of him dying this way. My sincerest prayers are with his family. While everyone can contract this virus it is black people who are dying from it in much larger numbers. This thing is real, black people. I heard a black person say, “Black people don’t get it.” That is a lie! You can get it, and you will get it if we don’t do what we're being told to do. A 26 year old black woman died the other day, a 44 year old black man died the other day, not to mention the hundreds of people that are dying every few minutes. Your age does not matter!! Your health does not matter. You could be totally healthy, and you could die! Now listen to me. You have been right by my side since I started in this business, so please hear me with your heart. I LOVE US. I love our humor. I love our culture. I love our hair. I love our skin. I love everything about who we are. All of us. And I love us all too much to watch us die on the vine because we are the last to know and we are not taking this pandemic seriously. Black people, we are at a disproportionately higher risk of dying from this virus. Please, please, please, I beg you to take this seriously. You have to socially distance yourself. That means stop hanging out, stop congregating, stop doing anything that will put not only your life in danger but also the lives of so many others. STAY HOME!! Socially distance yourself and stay alive! If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for someone you love, and for those who love you. My Mother always told me to not wait for help! Be your own help!
Perry goes on to urge black people to take the threat of the health crisis seriously. In some major cities, black people are dying at higher rates than other Americans.
“Please, please, please, I beg you to take this seriously. You have to socially distance yourself. That means stop hanging out, stop congregating, stop doing anything that will put not only your life in danger but also the lives of so many others,” Perry wrote.