Manuela Alcantar, 76, her husband, Jose, 74, and her son, Horacio, 53, have been sleeping on mattresses that were discarded by their neighbors after Onion Creek flooded their home on Halloween 2013. They tried to clean up the mattresses as best they could, but they haven’t slept well since that night.
On Friday, they were looking forward to their first good night’s sleep thanks to a donation of new beds from Factory Mattress.
For the fifth year, Factory Mattress has donated beds to many of the Statesman Season for Caring featured families who needed them. This year’s 17 sets of mattresses, foundations and rails are worth about $15,500, Mark Nelson, chief operating officer of Factory Mattress, estimates. Since 2010, Factory Mattress has donated about $70,000 worth of beds to the program.
Season for Caring, which began in 1999 and has raised more than $8 million in cash and in-kind donations, works with local nonprofit agencies to select featured families. The needs of the featured families are taken care of first and then hundreds of other families are helped each year through the nonprofit partners.
“The reason why we’re so comfortable and so willing to do it without hesitation is we know it’s going to people who truly need it,” Nelson said of Factory Mattress’ commitment to Season for Caring.
Factory Mattress doesn’t donate bottom-of-the-line beds. Horatio received a twin ThermaGel Tempur-Pedic. Manuela and Jose Alcantar received a king Sealy Posturepedic.
“It would be outside of our mission to give people beds that are not comfortable,” Nelson said.
Jose Alcantar, who has had four strokes, eased his way off the new motorized wheelchair he received the day before from Longhorn Health Solutions and onto his new bed. “Thank you, God, and thank you to the people.”
Both he and his wife remarked that they will be able to sleep now. “I don’t think I’m going to be getting up at 5:30 anymore,” she said. A few minutes later, he echoed that sentiment.
And when Manuela Alcantar saw the bed for her son, who sustained a head injury when he was 17 and is unable to care for himself, she started to cry.
“He’ll probably be sleeping all day now,” she said with a laugh. “Oh, God, he’s going to love this. … He doesn’t show much, but the smile he gives you, you can tell.”
The Alcantars have received many gifts, including a new refrigerator and a dresser, as well as two lamps, a coffee table and a rug from one of the Meals on Wheels and More volunteers who brings them meals every Monday.
They would love to have eye care, structural and electrical work on their house, a DVD player and Western movies and The Andy Griffith Show on DVD. Their dogs need veterinary care, and Jose would love a treadmill to start exercising again.