CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Kim Onam Brown is known around the Lowcountry as “Mama Kim.” Her beloved Korean restaurant, “Mama Kim’s,” was recently damaged in Saturday’s riots.
When the community caught wind of what happened, many stepped in to help. Her shattered windows are now boarded up; covered with messages of hope and love.
“I feel like it’s my job to take care of everybody. But of course, they’re my heart, and I love them,” says Mama Kim.
She treats her customers as members of her family. Joking that some have called her “a computer” because she is a whiz at remembering names and details of the people she meets.
Her walls are covered in hundreds, if not thousands, of photos. A testament to the people that mean the most to her, and nearly 50 years in the restaurant business.
Mama Kim is especially known for taking care of students at the Citadel. Citadel Cadet Jackson Jenkins says she’s “an absolute saint to so many of us.”
Cadet Jenkins decided to start a GoFundMe for Mama Kim’s repair costs. In just 2 days, the community raised over $16,000.
The number has now reached over $17,000. Mama Kim is absolutely floored. She plans to give part of the money to her favorite people and places in the community to say ‘thank you.’
“I think Charleston is all sweet people, I really do. I’m going to give back part of it, I’m going to give it to some scholarship, to College of Charleston, a part to the Citadel, to the church. I’m going to fix up the windows and fix up the floors,” she says.
Coming up, Mama Kim will be celebrating her 50th year in the restaurant business. She has no plans to retire anytime soon!
“One thing that I always talk about is people asking ‘Mama when are you going to retire?’ I say, ‘I love people, and social, you know that’s why I cannot retire,'” she says.
For more on Mama Kim’s, click here.