Tyler Perry Plays Santa for 1,500 Walmart Customers With $430,000 Donation

Tyler Perry is embracing the spirit of Christmas. The “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” star played Secret Santa this festive season, and it has been uncovered that he had paid for 1,500 customers’ bills, which cost more than $400,000, at two Walmart stores in Atlanta, Georgia.

LeMia Jenkins, a spokesperson from Walmart, confirmed to PEOPLE magazine that the filmmaker behind the “Madea” franchise had indeed spent $434,000 in layaway products. A layaway is a method for a customer to book an item and claim it after paying the full balance.

“Tyler Perry’s generous donation is making an unbelievable difference for so many families, and we can’t thank him enough for his kindness,” Jenkins further said in a statement. “The heartfelt excitement and joy we’re seeing from our customers as a result of his holiday gift has been touching.”

Also acknowledging Perry’s Santa act was Shameka, a manager at Walmart’s Douglasville area. She told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that it was not unusual to have “good samaritans” who randomly paid for someone else’s account. Still, she has never seen anyone did what he did. “I was shocked,” she gushed. “It shows that we know there’s still good people in the world.”

Perry himself has come forward about his generous deed. On Thursday, December 6, the 49-year-old shared a video with a caption that read, “I was trying to do this anonymously but oh well!!!” In the clip, he explained, “Trying to do this anonymously but, um, due to some circumstances y’all know how nothing stays secret these days.”

“So I just wanted to go ahead and tell you, if you have a layaway at Walmart at 844 Cleveland Avenue in East Point, GA, in Atlanta, or if you have a layaway at the Walmart at 7001 Concourse Parkway in Douglasville, GA,” he went on to spill, “if you have a layaway at either place and it was in there as of 9:30 this morning… I have paid for all of your layaways for Christmas.”

Wishing every one a Merry Christmas, the creator of “The Haves and the Have Nots” continued, “You gotta go into the Walmart, get your layaway, pay a penny, one penny, and you get your layaway. I know it’s hard times, a lot of people are struggling and I’m just really, really grateful to be able to be in a position to do this. So God bless you, go get your stuff and Merry Christmas.”

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