The leadership of ‘Mattress Mack’

Jim McIngvale, known as “Mattress Mack,” turned his two Houston furniture stores into shelters after Hurricane Harvey.

As the city flooded, he posted a video inviting people over. He gave out his personal phone number. About 400 people stayed at his stores, sleeping on sectionals, armchairs and mattresses. He’s done this before—during last year’s floods and when Hurricane Katrina hit 12 years ago. McIngvale also fed evacuees and invited them to bring pets.

The social media was tremendous.

“Here’s what they won’t tell you,” one local posted. “He will give everyone who has water damage a new mattress, no questions asked. He does this with every local natural disaster. He is known for being a tough businessman with a heart of gold. People become lifetime customers because they remember how he was there for them during one of the scariest moments in their lives.”

“Don’t get me wrong, he is a helluva businessman and will out-negotiate the best of them,” wrote another. “But in times of crisis, he’s also 100% there for the community.”

— Adapted from “‘Mattress Mack’ Opens His Doors,” Heidi Glenn and Daniella Cheslow, National Public Radio.