A GoFundMe has also raised over $127,000 for the unemployed grandmother

By Ale Russian
October 29, 2020 04:56 PM
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Sacha Baron Cohen
| Credit: Vincent Sandoval/Getty

After Jeanise Jones stole the hearts of audiences watching Borat 2, star and creator Sacha Baron Cohen got in contact to help make a difference.

The actor donated $100,000 to Jones' Oklahoma City community on her behalf, PEOPLE has learned. The money, to be distributed by the Ebenezer Baptist Church at Jones' request, has been earmarked for shelter, food and any other needs the community has.

Jones quickly became a breakout star of the movie when she appeared as a "babysitter" for the character of Tutar, played by Maria Bakalova, thinking Tutar was a real 15-year-old girl in danger of being married off to an older man. Jones originally thought she was taking part in a documentary about child brides.

Pastor Derrick Scobey, who previously set up a GoFundMe for Jones that has reached over $127,000 in donations, tells PEOPLE he's grateful Cohen wanted to support Jones and believed in the church's community outreach and ability to help. He also emphasized none of the money will be going to the church itself.

"I was blown away but not surprised because I was told about what type of heart this man has," Scobey says of Cohen's donation, which will help the community currently struggling with ice storms and power outages. "Maybe it's a little risqué, some of the things in the movie, but he has a good heart."

The pastor says Jones and the church have been housing senior citizens and other people affected since Monday as hospitals were overrun due to the storm.

"While all these people around the world are loving how she's the moral compass of the movie, she's sitting here serving people in the dark and in the cold," Scobey explains. "This is who we are. This is what we do for our community, and we love our community."

In the GoFundMe, the pastor asked fans to donate to Jones, who is currently unemployed.

"Please consider saying thank you to Jeanise with a tangible gift. She’s unemployed right now due to Covid. Previously, she worked on a job for 32 years!" Scobey wrote.

Borat 2 is streaming on Amazon Prime now.