On Thursday, Tyler Perry stepped in to play Santa at two Walmarts in Atlanta.

The director and actor went into the stores and dropped $432,635 to pay off layaway tabs of all the store’s customers. 

Perry, who built his own studio facilities in Atlanta, shared the news in a video he posted on Twitter Thursday, admitting that he tried to do it anonymously, but failed. 

“Trying to do this anonymously but, um, due to some circumstances y’all know how nothing stays secret these days,” he said. “So, I just wanted to go ahead and tell you.”


“If you have a layaway at the Walmart at 844 Cleveland Avenue in East Point, Georgia — in Atlanta — or if you have a layaway at the Walmart at 7001 Concourse Parkway in Douglasville, Georgia — if you have a layaway at either place and it was in there as of 9:30 this morning, it was already in layaway before 9:30 this morning — I have paid for all of your layaways for Christmas,” Perry explained.

“So, Merry Christmas to everybody,” he said with a smile on his face. “You have to 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. 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, Merry Christmas!” Perry concluded. 

Walmart’s layaway allows customers to reserve items at the store by making a small deposit and later paying the rest of the balance at pick-up. According to LeMia Jenkins, a spokesperson for Walmart, 1,500 people had things on layaway ahead of the holiday season at the two Walmarts. She also confirmed that Perry did pay off about $434,000 in layaway items belonging to those people. 

“Tyler Perry’s generous donation is making an unbelievable difference for so many families, and we can’t thank him enough for his kindness,” she 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.”

Walmart has also taken to Twitter to thank Perry for his generosity. “Anonymous or not, we hope you know that you just made Christmas for so many families. You went above and beyond. Thank you #SparkKindness,” it wrote.

In recent weeks, layaway items in four other Walmart stores have also been paid off by Secret Santa’s, totaling more than $130,000 as of Tuesday.

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