Ashley HomeStore and Ashley Furniture Industries dropped off 104 mattresses for flood victims in Fremont on Thursday.

The donation was part of a larger donation from Ashley consisting of 400 mattresses, which were distributed to flood-affected areas, including North Bend and Fremont.

The 104 mattresses in Fremont will add to another 62 mattresses that had already been donated by the company Future Foam from Omaha. They are currently being stored in a warehouse provided by Tek Services, and will likely be distributed through case management services based upon need, said Steve Narans, a volunteer with United Way who has been helping coordinate donations and volunteers since the floods began. They were unloaded by volunteers from Fusion Medical Staffing out of Omaha.

“Those that want to get and can get back in their homes, they probably don’t have any furniture, they have no bedding,” Narans said. “If they have a bed, the mattress is ruined.”

The donation from Ashley HomeStore came after Stan and Judy Meyer, who own the Beatrice branch of the furniture store, reached out to the Ashley factory to see if they could get some mattresses to donate to flood relief.

“Like everybody else, we had flooding down here, only not nearly as bad as [other areas], so we wanted to do something,” Meyer said. “We were thinking maybe 10 or 20, in that range, and they came back with 400.”

The donation was coordinated with all five branches of Ashley HomeStore in Nebraska: Norfolk, Beatrice, Grand Island, Kearney and North Platte. The mattresses also came with pillows and sheet sets. The press release also notes that employees from participating Ashley HomeStore locations are also collecting monetary funds as a group to donate to Orphan Grain Train Nebraska Flood Relief, Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

“It’s important to give back, and we’ve been blessed so we try to return it,” said Meyer. “Ashely’s always been great about giving … The company’s just awesome. We knew they’d probably do something, we had no idea they’d do 400 along with us, partnering with us. They share the same philosophy that we do that you gotta give back.”

The donation amounted to a $200,000 value, according to a press release from Ashley HomeStore.

Narans said that he imagined that a process would be established through the distribution center to best distribute the beds according to need.

“Over the next two months, I’m hoping things in that time frame, we really start getting things to people, what they need,” Narans said.

Narans added that the community continues to receive donations of all kinds. He said that he hopes that continues to make sure they can continue to meet needs — and when the time comes when another community might be in need at a later date, Fremont will be ready.

“There is no way I can thank everybody. It’s a truly a community effort,” Narans said. “Anything we have here that we did not use, you better believe that it’s going to go wherever it needs to go. We have our hearts now tied in with all of our disaster-related friends.”


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