Good Neighbors

Students Raise Money To Help Restaurant Worker Save His Home

After the kindness he always shows them, it was the least they could do.


Malcolm Coleman isn't just a cashier at Wendy's. He's a local celebrity.

If you're a USC student and have eaten at the Wendy's across from the Darla Moore School of Business on campus more than once, it's likely that Coleman knows your name, along with what you're ordering for dinner.

So, when students found out that Coleman, 35, nearly lost his home in an electrical fire last January, they immediately wanted to do something to help. Senior Robert Caldaroni and some of his classmates at USC's business school, decided to start a GoFundMe with a goal of raising $75,000 to pay for the necessary repairs.

USC student Rob Caldaroni started a GoFundMe to help raise funds to repair Coleman's home. YouTube

Coleman lives with his mother. Since the fire happened, the two have been couch surfing and staying with friends and family. Coleman has been saving as much as he can from his paychecks to put towards fixing their 875 square foot home, but due to a lapse in their insurance, the costs are much higher than he anticipated. To add to the family's stress, Coleman's father passed away last year.

Through it all, Coleman never seems to let his problems get him down. He remains as friendly as ever, which made it even more of a surprise when the students found out he was going through such a tough time.

"Malcolm never complains and takes every day as a blessing," Caldaroni wrote on the GoFundMe page. "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."

The USC students even made a video to help get the word out about their fundraiser to help Coleman...

The kindness that Coleman shows every student that he meets is enough of a reason for Caldaroni and others to do whatever they can to help him get his home back.

"It's the care that Malcolm takes of USC students that makes a '4-for-4' (Wendy's value meal) feel like a warm, home-cooked meal for even the furthest traveling out-of-state students," Calderoni said.

Coleman and his mother have been couch surfing and staying with friends until they can afford to fix their home. Mission: Malcolm/Facebook

Calderoni said that Coleman was shocked when he learned what the students were doing for him.

"Malcolm's first response was pouring me a chocolate Frosty," he told TODAY. "To see our community and country come behind him like this has been nothing short of inspirational."

Coleman wrote his own Facebook post thanking the students for all that they have done for him.

As of Tuesday, the students' GoFundMe had raised almost $40K, over half of the students' goal.

What a beautiful story about people working together to help a friend in need. We hope the students reach their goal soon and get Malcolm and his mother back into their home!

How can you start something good?

You can donate to the Mission: Malcolm GoFundMe by clicking here.


Let's #StartSomethingGood together.

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