Red Cross Promotes Fire Safety with MLK Day Service Project


With home fires as the biggest disaster threat facing families in Northeast Wisconsin and the Michigan Border communities, the American Red Cross, multiple fire department, State Farm agents, Girl Scouts, and several other groups will be going door-to-door in local neighborhoods on Saturday, January 18th and Monday, January 20th to discuss fire safety with residents and to distribute fire safety information.

This collaborative fire safety outreach is being done in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service  @MLKDay  in which community partners are making our communities safer.  Red Cross teams are meeting at central locations  for the orientation, receive route maps (targeting neighborhoods with the highest numbers of fires) The event will wrap-up around noon. Additional volunteers may contact or 920-922-3450 to participate.

Participating cities include and pre-arranged groups include, in addition to Red Cross responders are: Freedom, Green Bay, Hortonville, Montello, New London, Watertown, Waupun & West Bend. Additional locations with special notes include: 

  • Fond du Lac – Fire Department & Girls Scouts
  • Kaukauna – State Farm agent & Fire Department
  • Mayville – 1:00 – 3:00p.m. with the fire department & State Farm
  • Ripon – 9:00a.m. Beckie Pinnow’s Girl Scout Troop tours the Fire Station & canvass
  • Green Bay – Partnering with Green Bay fire and other local businesses distribution on January 20th
  • Waupaca – Partnering with Fresh State program distribution on January 20th

In the past year, our local Red Cross Chapter has provided food, shelter, comfort and hope at 182 separate disasters with the vast majority being residential fires. Although each disaster situation is different, we provided financial assistance to 795 individuals with additional support for emergency basic needs such as food, shelter, hygiene kits, cleaning supplies, infant supplies and clothing along with health and emotional support as they begin the recovery process. A few larger disasters of note include the downtown Ripon Fire, several tornadoes & Hilltop Apartment fire in Allouez and 51 people were displaced in the Howard fire. Sadly, fires have been fatal as well.

“Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in home fires by half,” stated Steve Hansen, the local Chapter Executive, “To honor the legacy of service of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we are working together to educate the community by providing vital information on fire safety and the importance of maintaining working smoke alarms.”

Red Cross staff & volunteers, along with partners from multiple fire departments, Girl Scouts and State Farm agents, to name a few community partners, are going door-to-door to talk with residents about fire safety and hand-out fire safety door hangers in English and Spanish with information on smoke alarms, creating an escape plan and cooking and heating safely at home.

When a home fire or other disaster occurs, the Red Cross provides food, shelter, comfort and hope to meet the immediate needs of those affected. People can support those in the local community affected by home fires by making a donation to the local Red Cross by going to or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Those wishing to learn more about home fire safety should visit

Red Cross Volunteers Honor Dr. King’s Memory by Helping Prevent Home Fires

As his sister Lexus and mother Keesha listen, four-year-old London Slocum tells Randy Jordan, President and CEO of HOPE worldwide, and Patty Flowers, Southeast Wisconsin Chapter CEO, where his family will meet if they have to evacuate their home.

Thursday, January 19, 2012 — More than 260 Red Cross volunteers in Milwaukee spent the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday helping others by going door-to-door through nine neighborhoods that have had high rates of home fires.

Together, they visited more than 8,000 homes, talking with residents about how to prevent fires and how to escape safely should a fire occur, and leaving door hangers with fire safety tips for those who were not at home.

Members of HOPE worldwide, the Milwaukee Fire Department and Sanford-Brown College joined the Red Cross for the King Day of Service, as did Keith Cruise, a former Cincinnati Bengals football player.

The fire safety program makes a difference. In Milwaukee’s 53206 zip code, home fires dropped from 80 in 2009 to 33 in 2011. In zip code 53212 fires fell from 57 to 18 during those years.

“The difference to be made here is for the benefit of other people,” said Randy Jordan, HOPE worldwide president and CEO, who also canvassed door-to-door the entire day. “These families will be able to share another birthday, celebrate another Thanksgiving, open presents on another Christmas Day because of our efforts.”

Gerald Washington, assistant fire chief and local Red Cross board member, along with 30 Milwaukee firefighters, joined the volunteers and installed smoke alarms when no functioning alarm was present in a home.

On a block close to the fire station, not a single home had a working smoke detector. Residents told firefighters they didn’t feel they needed an alarm because they lived so close to the firehouse. When installing an alarm in one home, a firefighter removed a lawnmower and other flammable items stored next to the furnace.

“What we do today will always impact tomorrow,” said Cruise.

Similar volunteer activities took place this holiday, from Milwaukee to New Orleans, and from New York to Los Angeles, as Red Cross volunteers answered The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s call to service by teaching others about fire safety.

Fire is the biggest disaster threat to American families—not floods, hurricanes or tornadoes. On average, the American Red Cross provides food, shelter, comfort and hope to people affected by approximately 63,000 fires every year, or about one fire every eight minutes. For fire safety information, visit the Help Prevent Home Fires pages of

About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at

Volunteers Commemorate Dr. King by Providing Lifesaving Fire Safety Information


American Red Cross volunteers will canvass local neighborhoods to distribute fire prevention and safety tips.

“Life’s most persistent question,” Dr. King once asked, “is what are you doing for others?” This Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend, American Red Cross volunteers are doing a lot for others in their local communities. They are distributing vital fire safety information to help residents prevent home fires, protect their loved ones and strengthen their community.

Who:  Dozens of volunteers from the American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization that helps people prepare, prevent and respond to emergencies, will join Iola Fire Department volunteers, Ripon and Iron Mountain Boy Scout Troops, US Bank Ready When the Time Comes volunteers and disaster action team members.

What: Volunteers will canvass door-to-door throughout their local neighborhoods, talk with residents and leave behind door hangers with fire safety information. The door hangers include information about smoke alarms, creating a household fire escape plan and tips for cooking and heating a home safely this winter. This community program is being underwritten by a local Wal-Mart grant.

 When: Saturday, January 15, 2011,  9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

 Where:  Volunteers will canvass the following communities. Orientations will take place at 9:00 a.m. at the closest locations to the communities:

  • Red Cross office, 272 N. Main St., Fond du Lac, WI

Contact: Joyce Keyes  920-960-2545

  • Fond du Lac
  • Ripon
  • Red Cross office (lower level training room), 181 E. North Water St., Neenah, WI

Contact: Paul Fruit  608-215-0354

  • Neenah
  • Menasha
  • Red Cross office, 427 S. Stephenson Ave., Iron Mountain, MI

Contact: Ginny Gibson  727-743-0897

  • Iron Mountain, MI
  • Red Cross office, 418 School St., Waupaca, WI

Contact: Jim Kirk  715-513-0301

  • Waupaca
  • Iola
  • Berlin Public Library (upstairs classroom), 121 West Park Ave., Berlin, WI

Contact: Nick Cluppert  920-642-0089

  • Berlin

What Are You Doing For Others?

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service:

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: “What are you doing for others?”

Honor a great man by considering his words this January 18 and partner with the Red Cross to find a way that you can help others.

In 1994 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day became more than a federal holiday but also a day of service. Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, designating it as a national day of volunteer service.

In 2009 record numbers were set as many heard the words of yet to be sworn in President Obama urging his fellow citizens to join him in the day of service. According to people came out to volunteer at more than 13,000 service projects across the country, which was more than double the number of 2008.

The Red Cross saw record numbers of people participating in volunteer events. Two of the most popular Red Cross events were giving blood and taking the on-line training program,”Be Red Cross Ready”

More than 2,600 chose “Be Red Cross Ready” over the four-day holiday weekend. This unique on-line training offered an alternative for folks who couldn’t go out in their communities to participate in other activities.

Giving blood was also a great way for volunteers to serve their community. Red Cross collected more than 21,000 blood donations on that Monday, and exceeded 57,000 blood donations over the four-day weekend. This was the highest number of blood donations on the King Day of Service in the last five years. Many of those who gave blood did so for the first time.

The Lakeland Chapter hopes its neighbors will build on the success of last year’s event and make it an even bigger turn-out this year. To help, we have created a list of possible ways you can help those in your community. Honor yourself and a great man by answering life’s most persistent and urgent question.

What Can You Be Doing for Others?

  • Donate blood
  • Take the “Be Red Cross Ready” on-line training
  • Sign up for a CPR class

To find out about additional volunteer opportunities contact Jody Weyers, Volunteer Director at 920-227-4287 or