For the seventh year, the University of Houston-Downtown’s Bachelor of Social Work Program awarded its Person of the Year honors to a Houstonian who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in helping the community.
This year, Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale was acknowledged for his contributions to the city, particularly during Harvey. McIngvale, owner of the city’s Gallery Furniture stores, was honored on Jan. 25 in Room C-100 of UHD’s Commence Street Building. Guests in attendance included Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz, UHD President; Dr. Robin Davidson, associate professor of English and the 2016 Houston Poet Laureate; and Dr. Dawn McCarty, director of UHD’s Social Work Program.
McIngvale earned national recognition for his efforts in helping others during the storm. In addition to his many charitable donations, McIngvale opened one of his stores to flood victims and rewarded first responders with a trip to the World Series.
“You do all that you can do to take care of your people, McIngvale said at the event. “That’s what I was taught,”
Local media covered the event, including KTRK Ch. 13 and KRIV FOX26.
“He elevated kindness and compassion at a time when our community was suffering terribly,” McCarty told FOX26. “He became a beacon of light for many people.”