HOUSTON— Gallery Furniture and Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale announced a new partnership with Houston’s Rotary Firefighters Home and the Houston Fire Department during a press conference Friday.
The vision of the project is to provide temporary, fully-furnished housing to firefighters and other first responders at little or no cost while they are undergoing cancer treatment.
Did you know, due to the toxins emitted in burning buildings, cancer rates in firefighters run high? Firefighter's like Christian Singler from Beaumont was diagnosed with the life-threatening disease and in need of treatment from MD Anderson Cancer Center. It would cost thousands for Singlar to rent a hotel room for the duration of his treatment.
HRFH The charity now owns two apartments at IMT Apartment Complex near the Med Center and offers the homes to firemen and women all over the nation in need of treatment. Apartments, all decked out with furnishings donated by gallery furniture.
"Having a list of eleven firefighters waiting is very difficult to turn them down, to tell them that there's not a room available in this house for them," retired Houston Fire Captain and HRFH President Romero Ponce-Lopez said. "I had to do this several times. I'd prefer to go into a burning building to put out a fire than to tell a brother firefighter that there's not a room for him to get his cancer treatment."
Not only did Mattress Mack offer to provide a living facility, but he also surprised the HRFH with a $5,000 gift card and a brand new television to furnish the house.
" We are proud to furnish this apartment," McIngvale said. "We want to thank the firefighters from around the world for all the work that they do. Whatever we can do to support them we will be here whenever they call."
Mattress Mack has become a local hero in the city of Houston following his relief efforts during the Hurricane Harvey flooding crisis and the fire department expressed how much he meant to them and the community.
"This is an incredible work that they are doing not just for firefighters and EMT's but for their families," Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena said. "I am truly appreciative of Mr. McIngvale and what he has done not only for the rotary firefighter home but for this community there's a special place in heaven Mr. McIngvale for people like you who care about there community and everybody who live and work here."