October 5, 2021 by By Cathy Stack
Jim is well known for his past storm disaster relief efforts, and when he spread the word on social media notifying Houstonians of his drive, the response to the call to action was overwhelming. Houstonians arrived hourly at Gallery Furniture with cars full of supplies to send to Louisiana. Residents generously donated all sorts of nonperishable goods, such as canned food, bottled water, diapers, pet food and hygiene supplies, as well as games for families with children.
The Houston legend affectionately named “Mattress Mack” is known for going above and beyond to help his community during any crisis. Jim opened his store to the public during Hurricane Katrina and again during Hurricane Harvey. This hurricane crisis was no different. Once again, he was eager to offer help. He sent 30 trucks full of supplies to Louisiana and opened his stores for displaced Louisiana evacuees who needed a warm, comfortable and safe place to ride out the storm. He generously allowed displaced residents to stay however long they needed to.
“We do this because it is the right thing to do,” he humbly responded when asked why he goes out of his way to help strangers. Jim has been welcoming displaced community members into his stores for decades during storms and has no plans to stop. He understands that people are often stressed and disoriented when they are displaced by a hurricane. His large, elevated, floodproof furniture stores, filled with mattresses and sleeper sofas, provide residents with a safe, warm, comfortable place to stay and rest. And residents can feel secure sheltering at his stores, away from the dangers of flooding.
Jim has been known to give out his personal cell phone number so that residents can reach him if they need a ride to one of his stores for shelter. He has sent his company delivery trucks out to transport people directly to his stores. And his stores offer not only storm shelter but also free water, food and warm blankets.
Jim also offered his stores as a haven to residents when Texas unexpectedly lost power in the winter of 2020. Residents were left in frigid temperatures without heat, water and power for days. Gallery Furniture was equipped with generators that powered the store for a week, aiding residents with medical conditions who needed to plug in oxygen tanks.
“At the end of the day, we are not going to be judged by the creator for how much money we make but instead [by] how much of a difference we have made,” Jim said when explaining his life philosophy of helping others.
PassItOn and Foundation For A Better Life believe Jim McIngvale is a true hero for offering comfort to strangers during times of crisis. His caring action defines the value of generosity and embodies the goodness of humanity. Jim and the donors have shown us all the strength that is derived when a community pulls together. Please help us celebrate Jim by sharing his heartwarming story.
Please tell us about your everyday hero. The heroes among us are ordinary people whose actions leave a lasting and positive impact in their communities and demonstrate the potential in all of us. Their heroic acts uphold our shared values. Help honor these individuals by creating a billboard and sharing their story at: http://https://www.passiton.com/your-billboards/create
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