James Malinchak, motivational speaker and Henderson, Nevada denizen joins Marc Paskin and Dani Johnson as one of ABC’s Secret Millionaires.
This week, Secret Millionaire visited Gary, Indiana — a steel town steeped in poverty…a place where James Malinchak says he was “nervous to fall asleep.” Two-and-a-half times the unemployment rate? I can see why that might be a bit unsettling…
His first visit was Urban Faithworks, a free program for Gary, Indiana’s kids. Malinchak spent some time working with the students and talking with them. “The only positive thing…we got,” was how one girl described Urban Faithworks.
Malinchak worked his way around town, talking with the locals. Yvonne Kemp’s Adonia Community Services was his next stop — a group committed to cleaning up trash dumped around Gary. Ms. Kemp hires folks at $10/hr. (of her own money, by the way) to clean up the city. Malinchak went to a local site and started picking up trash himself.
And there was a lot of trash in that lot.
Next up? The grocery store — shopping on $44…for the week.
Baylor Youth Foundation was next on the volunteer search. It’s a basketball group for youth, helping kids showcase their talents on a national level, and helping them gain some focus and self-esteem.
On day four, Malinchak returned to Gwen and Ben Miller’s (privately funded) Urban Faithworks, and planted flowers with some local kids. Ben admitted they would like more space to build a gym for the local kids to get them off the streets and into something else.
Then, he went back to Adonaia to clean up more trash around Gary. The site was a completely trashed lot and alley. James’s partner Eric admitted that he has lost four sisters and his mother. His coping skill? Staying busy. Continuing on.
There’s a lesson there about counting blessings and forging ahead.
Coach Tony of Baylor Youth picked up Malinchak and the two went around town so the Baylor Youth Foundation could solicit funds. They found some. Tony shared why he coaches…he does it because he cares and feels cared for by others who love him as well as his presence at Baylor.
Is there really any more powerful reason to do it? I know there are hundreds of other reasons, but are they as important?
On Malinchak’s last day, it was time to give the money away.
He first went to Urban Faithworks and presented them a check for $10,000 to help them move ahead. Gwen said, “it’s keeping the doors open.”
Next was Ms. Kemp and Adonia Community Services. He presented her with $20,000 to “further your cause and your mission.” Then, he went into the field to see Eric and the clean-up crew again and presented them with leaf blowers, lawn mowers, shovels, and, most importantly, a snow blower.
Malinchak stopped by Baylor Youth and presented them a check for $50,000. The look of collective shock was probably worth so much more. And when it came to Coach Tony?
Well, Malinchak gave him a $25,000 check. A personal check. Just for Coach.
Another Sunday, another episode of the Secret Millionaire. But then again, Monday comes and the good still goes on.
What will we all do this week?