“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
On Saturday, January 14th, volunteers across the nation came together with one common goal: to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by installing free smoke alarms and educating families on fire safety.
This event was part of the American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign’s MLK Day of Service. In the Central and South Texas Region, more than 300 volunteers installed 802 smoke alarms in homes that needed them.
Here are a few stories of the Red Crossers who made it happen, residents who invited us into their homes on a cold January morning, and partner agencies who turned out to support the mission.
Red Cross Disaster Program Manager Kiley Davis teaches a group of new volunteers how to safely install smoke alarms in Austin, Texas. Nearly 100 volunteers braved the rain and chilly weather to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by helping their community through the Home Fire Campaign.
Red Cross volunteer Izadora Martinez talks to homeowner Juan Rocha about home fire and flood preparedness while Austin Fire Department firefighters replace his out-of-date smoke alarms with new ones. Mr. Rocha lives in East Austin with his wife and five children. “I’m glad you’re here for us,” Rocha said. “I’ve talked to my kids about fires, but I appreciate you coming to the neighborhood and putting the alarms in the right place.”
Three-year-old Elizama Rocha shows Red Cross volunteer Tamika Smith her favorite show while the firefighters install a new smoke alarm in her bedroom and her dad talks with a Red Cross volunteer about disaster preparedness.
Montopolis neighborhood resident Michael Sorian was thankful for the Red Cross volunteers and firefighters who stopped by his home on Saturday morning to install free smoke alarms.
Red Cross volunteer Izadora Martinez poses with Montopolis neighborhood resident Michael Sorian and his 6-month old black Labrador, Royal, while firefighters checked his upstairs smoke alarms.
Red Cross volunteer Izadora Martinez talks to resident Michael Sorian about how he can create an escape place for his 7-year-old son.
Odessa firefighters and Red Cross volunteers gather for an early morning briefing with staff members from the American Red Cross Serving the Permian Basin before they begin their door-to-door smoke alarm installation event in Odessa, Texas.
In San Antonio, Texas, Red Cross workers gathered at a local block party and basketball tournament hosted by the Alamo City Aztecs to honor first responders and connect them with the people they serve. Red Crossers Tracy, Stephen and Henry shared home fire preparedness information and recruited volunteers for a smoke alarm installation event the chapter is conducting next Saturday.
In Kerrville, Texas, Red Cross Volunteers teamed up with the Kerrville Fire Department and Kerr County CERT to install free smoke alarms during a “block walk.” They met at the local Red Cross chapter for a briefing, then dispatched into the neighborhoods.
Kerrville firefighter and Red Cross volunteer review the family escape plan with Kerrville residents. More than 100 alarms were installed in homes that needed them on Saturday, January 14th in Kerr County, Texas.