Motivational Speaker James Malinchak Joins Dani Johnson and Marc Paskin as a Secret Millionaire

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.

And on.

What will we all do this week?


3 responses to “Motivational Speaker James Malinchak Joins Dani Johnson and Marc Paskin as a Secret Millionaire

  1. God Bless you James.

    Watched your Gary Id, show tonight.–it left me in tears of joy for those that so desperately needed your help and inspiration.

    Thank God for you. I wish I could help my own parents, dada waaas a WWII veet Omaha Beach D-Day Big Red I first wave, left my mom penniless, the VA never helped, friends who had the means never helped. Dad died 2 years ago from coomplications with his Alzheimers’s related Dementia and drained the 50 K mom haad (his life insurance ). Then mom developed breaast Cancer, I am under n my practice with 2 mortages there, and 2 mortgages on my “home”. Want desperately to add on to her home andrid myself of the housse I am upside down in now, such that her grand children and I can live and watch out for her. My mother was aa concert pianist and gave to the Vegas Community fromthe beginning ( 48 hour Jerry Lewis Telethon — she and dad entertained to raaise money for this most worthwhile cause amongst many others…they would give the shirts off their back. I know , many others write of their grief and are far more deserving. Thank you for for just looking at this letter, my mom is a true lady with pride and is desperately in need–all she ever wanted was to keep her dream ( her home) and now she haas a couple thousand to live on,, once it is gone I don’t know what we will do.
    SHe has her star on the walk of fame in front of the MGM Grrand and her name is Mafalda…she haas mass produced her gorgeeous oil painttings, CD’s has gotten promise after promise to promote her on air such that she could sell this talent and “make it on her own” , to no avail. She is trully an angel , one who’s life has been full of disappointment, yet she never gives up. She is truly an angel, I wish I could fulfill her dreams , but I cannott. I don’t want her to losee anything more, she has worked since she was 14 in nightclubs in Cleveland OH to support her family there, now its my turrrn, and I have let her down. I hope you see her website, she haas so much to offer and time is running outtt…Her site is Could youtake a look and maybe guide me to help my mother?
    I am sorry to bother you and understand if I never hear back.

    God Bless you and your work–you are doing such wonderful things for so many destitute individuals.

    God Bless you,

    Maria Papp -Fihn

  2. Sorry for the typos, it is late and key board is acting up. Need to get to sleep have a full patient day tomorrow. Thanks for hopefully understanding this embarrassing text.

    • @MARIA: Thanks you for your heartfelt comments. Perhaps they would be better directed to Mr. Malinchak? This site is for comment and commentary, but I’m sure you could send the same information to James himself in the form of a respectful letter.

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