Everyone loves Mattress Mack. Now that includes Ellen DeGeneres.
The television personality had Jim McIngvale on her talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, yesterday to talk last week’s storm, which caused power and water outages and broken pipes for millions across the state, and the recovery process we're now going through.
Last week, as temperatures stayed low and people struggled to keep warm, McIngvale quickly opened his flagship 6006 North Freeway Gallery Furniture store as a shelter and hub for free meals the same way he famously did during Hurricane Harvey.
McIngvale said he knew the night of Sunday, February 14 that things were going to get rough for Houstonians. “I woke up Monday, and there was snow and ice everywhere, which is really foreign to Texas,” he told DeGeneres.
He had wanted to open the store that day as a warming shelter, but the roads were too icy for people to safely make their way to north Houston. So he decided to wait until Tuesday. Over the course of that first day about 1,000 people came by to get warm and get a free meal. That night around 300 to 400 slept over in the furniture store.
When asked by DeGeneres why it was so important to him to do this, McIngvale replied—as he always does—that it was about him and his team making a difference in the community.
“My parents taught me, Ellen, when I was a little child that the essence of living is giving,” he said, “and we’ve always had a saying here at Gallery Furniture that we have a responsibility for the wellbeing of the community.”
The pair then went on to talk the storm’s aftermath during the four-minute segment (McIngvale video-called in). Thousands of Texans are now dealing with water damages and broken plumbing, and the fallout from last week's crisis will likely really be fully understood only in weeks and months to come.
“The crisis isn’t over,” McIngvale said. “Now it’s just really starting the recovery process.”
“We love what you’re doing for your community; we’re sending a lot of love to all the people in Texas,” DeGeneres replied before announcing she, with the help of Shutterfly, would also be donating $20,000 to the Mattress Mack Winter Storm Community Outreach GoFundMe fundraiser.
Watch the full interview with McIngvale here.