Tyler Perry thinks his late mother is responsible for his charitable spirit.

The 50-year-old star is set to receive a special Emmy at next month's ceremony for his charitable efforts, and he's credited his mother, Willie Maxine Perry, for his generosity.

Tyler - whose mother died at the age of 64 in 2009 - said: ''That's the DNA of my mother. My mother was just such a kind woman.

''I'm thinking of her because I know that she would be smiling from heaven. So that's definitely that part of my DNA.''

The director acknowledges that some people ''just need a hand up'' in life and that ''motivation can take them a long way''.

He told 'Entertainment Tonight': ''I realise that people aren't out there struggling because they want to.

''There are people that just need a hand up and that little bit of motivation can take them a long way.

''I'll never forget being in the grocery store, in Winn-Dixie in Atlanta, trying to pay for some food and couldn't pay for it. I was at Kroger. I couldn't pay for it. There was a woman behind me who gave me the money to get the food that I needed. Never knew her again.

''But that little act of kindness made me feel like I could go on, so that's what those moments are about for me. Just making people feel like they can go on.''

Tyler - who has his own charitable foundation - feels proud that his work is being recognised as the Emmys.

He said: ''For the Governors to even consider me for it and to know that they were watching and paying attention, that was really, really powerful. I was blown away by it.

''When they said I'm getting that award and it's about philanthropy and it's about the contributions to television, I think about all the people who work for me.''