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Tyler Perry defends Joel Osteen and donates $1 million to Harvey relief efforts

Photo Credit: Getty/WireImage/JB Lacroix Article By Rebecca Johnson // EEW Magazine Charity News

Share Before you badmouth megachurch pastor Joel Osteen, who has been strongly criticized for not initially opening Lakewood as a shelter for displaced flood victims, Tyler Perry says “know the whole circumstance.”

The big-hearted producer of OWN’s “The Haves and the Have Nots” took to Facebook to announce his $1 million donation to Harvey relief efforts and to vouch for Joel and Victoria’s character.

“Let me tell you something: Joel and Victoria are amazing people. There’s no way that they would lock people out of the church or not let people in for a shelter,” said the 47-year-old screenwriter and actor, referencing reports that the Christian leaders turned people away from their 606,000 square-foot church.

 “There were some safety concerns,” continued Perry, who styled Lakewood as one of the “boots on the ground” organizations that “could help immediately.”

He is sending $250,000 of his $1 million gift to the megachurch.

Media moguls Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey visit Joel Osteen's Lakewood church in 2011 (Photo Credit: Lakewood Church)

Instead of taking media reports at face value, Perry said, “I spoke to them on the phone and it all made perfect sense to me. So, before you just run and judge somebody real quick you need to know the whole circumstance,” he continued, adding that the Osteens are “people that I trust, people that I know are going to do the right thing.”

The Founder of The Tyler Perry Foundation grew up in New Orleans, where, he has “been through many Hurricanes.” His firsthand experience taught him the importance of having helpful, honest organizations that funnel money and supplies directly to those that need it.

“In the past I have given millions and millions of dollars to charities and I was just really disheartened to find out that the monies that I had given didn’t actually get to the people,” he told viewers. He’s being careful so that won’t happen again.

So far, aside from the $250,000 donation to Lakewood, $250,000 additional dollars are being sent to Pastor Rudy Rasmus of Bread of Life, Inc. Perry says he is still deciding where to send the remaining $500,000 and offered a bit of advice to those seeking to help out monetarily.

“If you want to give, I would challenge you to find someone who has boots on the ground, who can really be effective,” he said. “It’s the immediate response that’s needed.”

Though Perry is himself a foundation owner, his organization does not accept donations. “I fund it all myself,” he explained. “I fund the employees and I put in the money into the foundation so that every dime goes out to the community.”

RELATED: Tyler Perry raves about 'Miracles from Heaven'

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