If you mention the name Malcolm Coleman to a student at the University of South Carolina, you will probably be met with a smile.
Even if they don't know Malcolm by name, a quick description of the charismatic, stocky young man who works at the Wendy’s restaurant on campus will quickly spark their memory.
Malcolm’s incredible interpersonal skills are paired with the uncanny ability to remember the name of every student who places an order.
This pairing has made Malcolm into somewhat of a local celebrity with students at USC—even if you don’t remember his name, he’ll remember yours.
He strives to make a connection with every single student in a truly unique way.
If you visited the Wendy’s on Greene Street, you’d think that everyone inside was a longtime friend of Malcolm’s, but chances are they’ve only been there two or three times.
It’s the care that Malcolm takes of USC students that makes even a 4-for-4 feel like a warm, home-cooked meal for even the furthest traveling out-of-state students.
Malcolm’s day starts like many others, just a bit later. He sleeps during the day to work from 5 pm until 2 o’clock in the morning to support himself and his mother.
Maybe not ideal hours, but not a terribly unique story until you hear where Malcolm sleeps at night.
Last year, on Malcolm’s birthday, the Coleman family nearly lost their entire home to an electrical fire.
On January 14th, 2019, Malcolm and his mother retired for the night after a quiet celebration for Malcolm’s birthday.
Shortly after they had gone to bed, an electrical fire sprang to life in the living room of their small, 875 sq. ft. house. Luckily, Malcolm acted quickly to escape and help save his mother’s life.
Their house sustained tens of thousands of dollars in damages and is currently uninhabitable. Due to an insurance lapse, they cannot afford the repairs.
For the past year, Malcolm and his mother have been couch-surfing between the living rooms of their friends and family; Malcolm on the sofa, his mother on a loveseat or recliner.
The lowest estimate for removing the asbestos and repairing the fire damage to their small home was a little over $75,000.
The goal of this fundraiser is to help Malcolm and his mother return to their home.
During the past year, Malcolm’s father passed away and his mother has also been in and out of the hospital.
The added stress of moving between houses and not having a stable living space has made this time increasingly difficult for Malcolm’s family.
Despite all of this, Malcolm never complains and takes every day as a blessing. He clocks into work every night to continue taking care of his mother and puts a small portion of his check towards maybe one day being able to return home.
If you ever met him in person, you’d have no idea this tragedy had even happened.
He’s still smiling and laughing.
He still remembers your name and makes every student at USC feel special.
But Malcolm needs our help!
Malcolm certainly doesn’t feel entitled to charity. We as students of USC came to him to ask if he would be okay with us setting up this fundraiser for him and his mother.
At the same time, we aren’t entitled to the fact that Malcolm has done his best to take care of USC students for years without expecting anything in return. But, then again, that’s just who Malcolm is.
It can be easy to take the smile on your server’s face for granted, especially when you don’t know just how hard they’re working to put it on.
It’s one thing to clock in—it’s another to be Malcolm.
Thank you for checking out our page and thank you for helping Malcolm and the Coleman family!
— From the students at the University of South Carolina
- Elizabeth Burns
- Scott Hoblin
- Kimberly Weigend
- Laura Rodrigue
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