MLK Day of Service Fires Up Red Crossers to Help Save Lives

MLK Day Volunteers
Story and photos by Basima El Hasan, Communications Volunteer Orange County Chapter

“Everybody can be great.…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In honor of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, the American Red Cross partnered with the Orange County Fire Authority and volunteers to install free, 10-year, sealed-lithium battery smoke alarms in the city of Buena Park.

The Home Fire Campaign helps save lives by installing free smoke alarms in homes that don’t have them, and by educating people about home fire safety.

More than 60 participated in the day of service. Many of the homes that were visited had smoke alarm that were longer functioning, giving the homeowners a false sense of security.

According to Elena Rojas, who volunteered in the event with her family, “One of the homes we went into today had four kids living there and had no smoke detectors.  All of the ones (smoke alarms) we put in felt necessary; but that felt like we did something really good today.”

MLK Day Volunteers
MLK Day of Service volunteers Jose Alarcon, Guy Maw, Michael Albo, Rosalio Cruz.

Guy Maw, who has volunteered with the Red Cross for nearly 11 years, has seen the impact that the Home Fire Campaign has had on the community.

Maw recalls the inspiration that motivated him to work with Red Cross more than ten years ago. It was the rewarding feeling that was derived from housing a grateful family in a Red Cross shelter after their home has burned down.  Today, Maw tows the wagon with smoke alarm supplies, and in it is an economy size box of moon pies that was gifted to Maw and the crew by one of the locals – a sweet display of appreciation.

Who knows how many lives Maw and the rest of the volunteers might saved while installing smoke alarms on this day?

If you would like to volunteer with our Home Fire Campaign, please click here.

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