‘Mattress Mack’ opens doors to help millions of Texans after winter storm

Local Houston legend Jim McIngvale is lending a hand to families in desperate need of shelter from the cold by transforming one of his furniture shops into a warming station.
4:54 | 02/18/21

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Transcript for ‘Mattress Mack’ opens doors to help millions of Texans after winter storm
Back now with a local legend from my hometown of Houston who is lending a hand to families in need of shelter from the cold. Jim "Mattress Mack" mcingvale has opened his furniture store to those in need. Jim, thank you so much for joining us this morning. What you're doing is very, very generous but it's not the first time you've done this. You did this also for hurricane Harvey. So what prompted you to open your doors again? Well, Michael, the people were freezing in their homes. They had no heat and no electricity and then compounded the problem no water. They were freezing and I talked to the mayor on Monday night and said can we do it Monday night? He said the roads are too dangerous then Tuesday he said go ahead and open and we had almost a thousand people come in Tuesday, 300 spent the night Tuesday night. Same thing on Wednesday, so lots of people with lots of needs and we are more than happy to open this furniture store to serve the community because that's why we exist. You know, we see people sleeping behind you and from meeting all these people would come into your store, can you get a sense of just how badly this has affected them? You know, they're not as traumatized as they were during Harvey when they had to wade through four, feet of dirty water to get here but just as emotionally distraught because the routine of home, the routine of lights and water and being warm has been totally disrupted. They don't know when they're coming back to their house. They're calling almost every hour to the neighborhood or to the apartment complex, are the lights back on so their lives have been totally disrupted by this terrible power outage and the water shortage so it's a tough situation and we try to make it a little easier by getting them on a good Tempur-Pedic mattress making sure they have lots of warm food and camaraderie with 300 people, 100 children about 200 adults. And what makes it even more difficult as you said this is in the middle of a pandemic and, of course, safety is always a concern so what safety measures are in place and does that mean you have to limit how many people you can help? Well, we have about -- when they walk in there's mandatory hand advertising -- sanitizing and masks. Even with 400, 500 people we maintain a good six to eight distance and as I was walking last night for security reasons I saw people sleeping and I was amazed at the distance between one family to the next so we've done a good job on the covid precaution, not as good as we probably should but working on it every day. It requires a lot to do. This where are you getting the food, the water, the sweatshirts and blankets? We're buying them from some of our great vendors, the mayor, mayor turner donated a truckload of water. Kroger's donated a truckload of water and guying food wherever we get it and about 90% of the restaurants and spent four hours trying to find doughnuts but have great vendors bringing in food and volunteers cooking the food along with our employees so we're going almost 18 hours a day feeding these people and making sure they've got things to do. We had face painters out here, balloon artists yesterday for the kiddos, so it's a task trying to make sure these people can get their mind off the difficulty they're in and look forward to a better future tomorrow. Absolutely. One more question. Is there anything that you want Americans who are watching us right now, is there anything that you want them to know about what is happening there in Texas? Well, I want them to know first of all some of the best customers of our furniture and when add verbsty hits we all come together. We forget about our differences and focus on our similarities and that's what's happening in this crisis. As I was walking around last night talking to these people, all race, all color, all creed, all ages, they had that American optimism that tomorrow was going to be a better day so I think we need to not focus on who is to blame for the crisis but how do we move forward to make Houston and Texas and the United States a better place by coming together and focusing on our similarities and helping each other have a better life. Jim, I always love your message. You're always doing good for other people. Really appreciate it. My mom is going to appreciate that shoutout as well. So thank you so much, Jim, and we really appreciate your time this morning. Thanks, Michael. Great to talk to you. As always. You too. He knows his customer base. I like it because, you know, as a son I got to pay for mama's trip. Will save you money! Talking about those commercials. Coming up after this commercial is our "Play of the

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