In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, while most Houston businesses closed their doors, one local businessman opened his furniture stores to provide shelter to hundreds of displaced individuals.
Jim McIngvale is a local businessman with the nickname “Mattress Mack.” On Sunday, McIngvale took to social media to encourage those displaced by Hurricane Harvey to take shelter at either of his Gallery Furniture stores.
By Monday night, McIngvale took to social media a second time to reveal his stores were at capacity and currently providing shelter to 400 individuals displaced by the storm. McIngvale encouraged displaced Texans to head to the downtown convention center for shelter.
“When the hurricane first hit down here, my thought was this is going to be a one-day event. Then I came into work the next day and I saw the devastation of the entire area and decided it would be best if we opened this 100,000-square-foot furniture store as a shelter,” he revealed to NPR.
He picked up displaced Texas and provided them with both food and shelter.
McIngvale told KENS 5 he gathered volunteers and used furniture trucks to venture out into the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and collect displaced Texans. After bringing the displaced individuals back to his store, he provided them with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a place to stay.
Photos emerged of people lining up at the store for food, as well as those relaxing on the brand-new furniture inside of the stores. The pictures show children playing on beds and adults relaxing on sofas.
McIngvale explained to KENS 5 that his parents raised him to always do the right thing and help people whenever possible.
“I was raised as a Catholic. I continued my Catholic faith throughout my life, trying to do the right thing and hopefully, you do the right thing and help people along the way.”
This local businessman frequently makes the news for philanthropic work.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, McIngvale opened the doors of his business to provide shelter to 200 displaced evacuees. He even received the Daily Point of Light Award from President George H.W. Bush for his years of philanthropic work.
Tens of thousands of displaced Texans continue to need shelter.
As rain continues falling, tens of thousands of Texas are seeking shelter. The emergency center at the downtown convention center – managed by the Red Cross – has a capacity of 5,000 people. On Monday night, the convention center overflowed with 9,000 displaced Texans. Despite being thousands of people over capacity, the Red Cross assured evacuees they would not turn them away.
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