While promoting his new film, "Good Deeds," actor, director and producer Tyler Perry did one of his own, donating the $98,000 to a pastor who has spent months occupying a Chicago rooftop in an effort to stop violence in a South Side neighborhood.
After burying 10 young black men from his congregation in a year, Rev. Corey Brooks of New Beginnings Church began a vigil atop a motel near his church he said welcomed the kind of crime that breeds violence, HuffPost Chicago blogger Hermene Hartman first reported. Living out of a tent since Nov. 22, Brooks refused to leave until he reached his $450,000 fundraising goal, the amount he would need to raze the building and replace it with a community center.
Brooks has only left the rooftop twice since November--to console the parents of two teens killed by gun violence, and attend their funerals.
While Brooks has received sizable donations during his three-month occupation, he was still $84,000 away from his goal when Perry announced on the Tom Joyner Morning Show that he would donate $98,000 to the cause. He also gave the pastor a Harley Davidson, according to Fox Chicago.
Although Perry so far has only promised to make the donation, Rev. Brooks says that though the check isn't in his hands, "Tyler Perry's word is good," he told the Chicago Tribune.
Brooks says that by helping him reach his fundraising goal, Perry's donation will help him spread a positive message to Chicago youth.
"When they see this community center being built, they're going to be reminded that one person can change things,” Brooks told the Tribune. "One person can make things better. And hopefully it's going to inspire people to continue."
Brooks plans to come down from the roof and celebrate reaching his goal after a cold and lonely 94 days, CBS Chicago reports.