FILE - In this May 20, 2016 file photo, actor and singer Jussie Smollett attends the "Empire" FYC Event in Los Angeles. A police official says "Empire" actor is now considered a suspect "for filing a false police report" and that detectives are presenting the case against him to a grand jury. Smollett told police he was attacked by two masked men while walking home from a Subway sandwich shop at around 2 a.m. on Jan. 29. He says they beat him, hurled racist and homophobic insults at him and looped a rope around his neck before fleeing. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

Jussie Smollett helped to spread some holiday cheer in Michigan on Friday, Dec. 20, by attending a toy and book drive. And he donated some money as well.

The event was spearheaded by 12-year-old environmental activist Amariyanna “Mari” Copeny, also known as Little Miss Flint. Copeny became known for assisting with the Flint water crisis and writing a letter about it to former President Barack Obama when he was in office.

Jussie Smollett joined a toy and backpack drive in Michigan and donated $10,000. (Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)

The pre-teen and the former “Empire” actor decided to surprise Woodland Park Academy in Grand Blanc, Michigan, where school supplies were given out, tablets, books, winter coats, as well as toys. TMZ reports that Smollett donated $10,000 to the Flint Kids program in addition to that.

On Saturday, Dec. 21, Copeny shared a photo of herself and Smollett at the drive and wrote “He always shows up  #Family #TeamMari.”

She included a video of the event too, which shows kids playing with toys, sipping hot chocolate, and enjoying rides as well, like an inflatable slide.


This isn’t the first time that Smollett joined one of Copeny’s holiday events. He attended a similar drive last year and posted a photo of himself with children in an elf costume. But he hasn’t posted anything from this year’s visit.

“I pray that my future daughter is as fearless, loving and gangsta as these young queens,” wrote Smollett on Dec. 22, 2018. “My heart is full knowing these young people exist. Hopefully us adults start taking note. Happy holidays fam. One love. #Flint #FlintKids #MariCopenyPotus2044 ” 

Smollett’s joining Copeny at the event came at the same time he’s in the middle of a lawsuit against the city of Chicago, which he sued for malicious prosecution.

As it’s been widely reported, the Chicago Police Department accused the actor of lying about being attacked earlier this year, which they arrested him for. But those charges were later dropped.

@jussiesmollett Instagram