Texas has seen more than its fair share in weather-related calamities. When this winter’s storm, Uri, cut off the power grid, leaving the state in shambles, a brave businessman stepped in to make sure his Houston neighbors had a place to shelter from the cold.
Over the course of a 72-hour period, Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale opened two of his Furniture Gallery locations such as makeshift warming stations. According to the store’s website, Mattress Mack and his team provided more than 3,000 meals and overnight accommodations to more than 700 members of the Houston community.
But this isn’t Mattress Mack’s first storm-related rodeo. In 2005, the champion Lone Star welcomed refugees from Hurricane Katrina, and in 2017, gave relief to the victims from Hurricane Harvey.
“We are opening both buildings as shelters during this horrible time,” McIngvale said in a 2017 post to the company. Facebook page. “We have a lot of beds, we have a lot of food, we have water and you can even bring your animals.”
When Tropical Storm Imelda hit in 2019, once again, McIngvale made sure the doors of Furniture Gallery were open for those in need. With the appearance of Uri, he took to social media and invited anyone in need to come.
While the store had a diesel generator to provide electricity, with only one working water line, plumbing became a critical problem. Ensuring that COVID-19 protocols were followed added another layer of complexity to the situation.
McIngvale and his staff rose to the occasion, came up with a solution to meet the demand for plumbing, and also ensured that once visitors wore masks, they observed proper social distancing before settling in to eat hot meals, watch television. and get something. much needed rest.
“Obviously, there is a lot of anguish among the community that comes here. They are shocked. They have been home for days in the cold with no electricity, no heat, no water, no plumbing, ”McIngvale said. The Washington Post. “The logistics are a bit difficult, but we are making it work. The main thing is to get people out of the cold. “
While McIngvale may be best known locally for the hyped commercials that have made Mattress Mack a household name for three decades, it has been receiving some huge praise. via Internet from the west coast to the east for being the port of humanitarian assistance in so many Houston storms.
“I don’t live near Texas, I’m in Michigan,” posted a Facebook user. “If for any reason I move to Texas, make sure you get my patronage! Thanks for your kindness.”
And this from Windy City: “Cheers to Mattress Mac from Chicago! You are an absolute blessing to those in need and an inspiration to all. This story has done much more than warm and feed Texans – it is a beacon of light and hope for our entire country. You are a true angel! “
And this from the South: “I live in Georgia and this is something that warms my heart. I know all of you are cool and hungry and reading something like this is amazing. Thank you Gallery Furniture for doing this. God bless.”
Much of the expense for caring for his neighbors comes from McIngvale’s own pocket, but for him, it should be. “Who has been given a lot, is expected a lot,” McIngvale told The Post. “We have benefited from public support over the years, so it is our obligation to open our doors and let people in to take a breather from the storm. It’s the right thing to do. “
For anyone who wants to help an angel, McIngvale has created a GoFundMe campaign to help alleviate the ongoing storm-related impact in your community.
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