69ºF

Mattress Firm employees surprise Westside neighborhood without power

'Places like this are not forgotten,' community service ringleader says

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – People in the secluded Windy Pines neighborhood off 103rd Street on Jacksonville's Westside are going on their fifth day without electricity, following Hurricane Irma.

But despite the lack of power, neighbors were treated to a surprise Thursday night, amidst their cleanup efforts.

“Last night, I found out one of my associates actually still has no power,” said Jose Lopez, of Mattress Firm. “I spoke with JEA as well, and found out they have restrictions. They're probably not going to be here for another week.”

So Lopez and others from Mattress Firm met to surprise their co-worker and his wife with food, drinks and a generator. The gesture for one family quickly turned into a treat for the entire neighborhood.

“I'm shocked and surprised,” Karen Garcia said. “I'm blown away. I'm really speechless. I don't know what to say. I'm thankful for my husband's company.”

This group of Mattress Firm employees delivered food, generators and love for all in need at Windy Pines.

“I was crying typing it up on the Facebook, because people were saying, ‘I want to help. I want to help,’” Lopez said. “There were like, 30 lines of messages. … Places like this are not forgotten. Just because you are off the path and may not have the means right now, someone out there is willing to help.”

Lopez said this isn't over. He and his group will be helping people in the area for the rest of the week.

For information on how to help Mattress Firm's hurricane relief efforts, click here.