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Mattress Store Chain Takes In People Seeking Refuge From Harvey

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HOUSTON (CBS) – The owner of a Houston mattress chain has opened up his stores as a shelter for hundreds of Texans displaced by floods.

Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, owner of Gallery Furniture, put out a call online on Sunday that anyone seeking refuge from Hurricane Harvey could head over to his two Gallery Furniture stores for shelter.

“How could I abandon my people? I got be true to myself,” he said. “It’s about taking care of the community and doing what I can in my own little way to help these people realize there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Hundreds of people took McIngvale up on his offer, and he provided them all with food, water. He even had a place for their pets.

For those who couldn’t make it to the store on their own, they sent out delivery trucks to collect families and their belongings.

“Do everything in love,” the store posted on their Facebook page, quoting the Bible passage 1 Corinthians 16:14.

By Monday, his North Freeway and Grand Parkway locations had reached capacity – housing 400 people from the storms.

But even with everything he’s done, McIngvale doesn’t like being called a hero.

“The heroes are these people that have been flooded out. The heroes are the gallery furniture employees who are unsinkable, who got through the water to be here to help these people,” he said. “That’s the heroes of the story. The heroes is the entire community.”

Many people online are remarking how McIngvale’s selflessness stands in stark contrast to that of Houston pastor Joel Osteen, who came under harsh criticsm for not opening his megachurch to those seeking refuge from Harvey. After the online firestorm, Osteen announced Tuesday that his church was open and accepting displaced pepole.

Nearly a quarter of the Texas population has been affected in some way by Harvey’s destruction.

This isn’t the first time Gallery Furniture has opened its doors to hurricane victims. They sheltered refugees from Texas and Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

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