By Sharon Mager
COLUMBIA, Md.—Looking for a way to meet your neighbors and lend a helping hand? Maryland/Delaware churches can partner with the American Red Cross to provide free smoke detectors in their communities by participating in the “Sound The Alarm. Save a Life” campaign.
Each year in the spring, the Red Cross has a big push working with a variety of organizations to get out in the communities, to identify risk areas and provide free smoke detectors to families. In 2019, the tentative dates are April 27 to May 12
But churches don’t have to wait until spring. The Red Cross canvasses neighborhoods throughout the year and plans smaller giveaways. Greater Chesapeake Region Senior Disaster Program Manager Erica Richardson said the smaller events may be just right for local churches. They assess risk and identify families that need the alarms.
On the day of the smoke alarm give-away, church members head out with Red Cross volunteers and members of local fire companies to install free smoke alarms, replace batteries in existing alarms, and help families create escape plans.
“We have Red Cross vests for identification, and we partner with the fire department for additional visibility,” Richardson said.
“Smoke alarms save lives,” she added. “Three out of every five home fire deaths in this country happen in homes that don’t have working smoke alarms.”
During Sound The Alarm events, church volunteers are permitted to introduce themselves and tell what church they represent as they lend a helping hand. It’s a great way to meet neighbors and other volunteers and help the community.
For more information, email Richardson at Erica.email@example.com.