During the coronavirus pandemic, one of the best qualities to emerge from both people and organizations around the city of Houston has been the desire to do whatever they can to help the community. Recently, Texas Mattress Makers, a staple of Houston’s East End community and proud partner of the Houston Dynamo, joined that initiative and has been making major contributions toward helping first responders and those fighting the virus on the front lines.
When Youval Meicler opened Texas Mattress Makers in 2011, he did it with the community and the consumer in mind, deciding to sell premium mattresses for lower prices directly from his factory, which also allowed the company to provide an educational aspect to their consumers.
Now, Meicler and Texas Mattress Makers are using their unique business model to react and adapt in a way that benefits the community during this pandemic, utilizing their production capability to aid COVID-19 frontline workers.
“We are still in business and are still making mattresses, but we have shifted a portion of our production line to making masks,” Meicler explained. “We have donated 100 percent of everything involved, including labor, material, which is that thick, woven, water-proof material you find on the backing of furniture or covering your box-springs, and the end product to EMTs, fire stations, and police stations across the Greater Houston area.”
Since the conversion, the company has been producing and donating masks as quickly as it can manage, and actually took part in two major donation events during the latter half of April. The first event was on Tuesday, April 21, and the other was on Thursday, April 23, both of which involved other local partners and directly benefitted first responders in the East End, where the mattress manufacturer and retailer is based.
By the end of the month, Texas Mattress Makers is projected to have donated nearly 20,000 masks to first responders; however, there have also been calls from the public for the company to donate or even make masks for the general public to purchase. While the possibility is there for masks to be sold in the future, Meicler wants to make sure his company takes care of those on the front lines first.
“Even though we have gotten a lot of feedback from the public, and we will probably start selling masks to the public at some point, the first and foremost goal was to take care of our first responders,” Meicler said. “I have always supported fire departments and police officers, so my goal was always to donate first and focus on first responders first.”
When asked what led to this major undertaking and the desire to help the community, Youval echoed most of the sentiments expressed by people in similar positions: it all boils down to a sense of community.
“You support the community that supports you, and without Houston, we do not exist,” Meicler explained. “It was not if we were going to help, but when and how. I mean, we are struggling as well, being a local business who uses locally-sourced products. If they are not from Houston and they are not from Texas, they are definitely from the United States, so we get it, but we can help, and this is how we can help. If we can do our part, even though we are struggling, it will all work out and we will get through it as long as we work together.”