Marcus Lemonis: Miami

  • By ABC.com

Marcus Lemonis was abandoned in Beirut, Lebanon during the chaos of civil war and foreign invasions. At nine months old he was adopted and then raised in Miami, Florida. Today, he is the Chairman & CEO of Camping World & Good Sam. Marcus leaves his luxurious Chicago lifestyle and moves into a rundown trailer at welfare level wages as he returns to a very disadvantaged community of his Miami childhood hometown to secretly seek out those most in need.

NVEEE - National Voices for Equality, Education and Enlightenment
Jowharah Sanders was a victim of bullying when she was younger so she started this organization to help mentor others and prevent teen suicide. During a carwash fundraiser, Marcus meets a young volunteer who talks about how she was bullied because of her ethnicity. Jowharah has actually come to speak at her school.

Jowharah lets Marcus know of a harrowing experience from her youth when she was raped. It was a horrible, tragic incident that hurt her deeply. But it didn't defeat her. The proof is in NVEEE. Later, Marcus reveals how he was picked on in school to a group of others who have been bullied, too. It's all very cathartic for him.

Marcus meets up with Jowharah and some of the kids from NVEEE. He reveals that he's a multi-millionaire who has been touched by what they do. He gives Jowharah a check for $35,000. He also gives the organization a new car with an attachment that serves as mobile office. This way they can spread the word on NVEEE out on the streets.

New Journeys
New Journeys Transitional Home's website says their mission is to "decrease the rate of homelessness for young women by providing an immediate, safe, affordable and nurturing housing environment that promotes independence and self-sufficiency." Marcus meets Executive Program Director Kathy Cole. She works out of a quaint home that serves its purpose. Marcus does some handyman work while chatting with a young woman named Charla, who has received a second chance at life thanks to Miss Kathy.

Marcus goes food shopping with a young lady named Izzie who strives to be an example to other foster kids. While cooking up the grub, Marcus learns that Miss Kathy is struggling to make the mortgage. This doesn't distract her from advising a young lady how to prepare for a job interview.

Marcus lets Miss Kathy and the others know his true identity while presenting them with a check for $75,000. Tears flow and hugs are given. Marcus then gives Miss Kathy a personal gift of $10,000. She has given up so much of her own money for her cause. Marcus wanted to be sure she had something for herself. Miss Kathy says Marcus just saved the lives of several girls.

Neat Stuff
This organization helps low income families provide new clothing and public school uniforms for their children. They helped clothe over 7,000 kids last year alone. Franklin Monjarrez has been running this unique clothing store for the past 10 years while collecting only a minimal salary. Marcus knows there's some pride that comes with buying clothes with tags on it to show that it's new. He experiences this firsthand while helping out some customers.

Marcus meets a young youth volunteer named Roxanna who has been in and out of foster care because her adopted parents gave up their rights to her. This is after both her parents went to jail. Her dad just died last year. Her mom died when she was 12.

Marcus brings in some clothes to donate to the store. He also brings the surprising news that he's a very successful businessperson. Marcus presents Franklin with a check for $25,000. He also reveals that he's setting up a trust for Roxanna starting with a check for $5,000. He also promises to stay in touch with her to see that she makes it in life.
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