MLK Day of Service: Help families with Red Cross

To honor and celebrate the life of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Red Cross is encouraging Americans across the country to volunteer their time and talents to service projects during the 2020 MLK Weekend.

As people prepare for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 20, the American Red Cross of Tennessee encourages residents to volunteer through its Home Fire Campaign with their local chapters.

Through the Home Fire Campaign’s year-round Sound the Alarm events, volunteers and community partners spend a day going door-to-door to install free smoke alarms, share fire safety information and help families create escape plans at homes in at-risk communities. Since launching more than five years ago, the campaign has installed more than two million free smoke alarms and saved nearly 700 lives nationwide. In Tennessee, volunteers and local partners installed more than 8,900 free smoke alarms and made more than 3,700 households safer from the threat of home fires during 2019. Basic training is provided to volunteers; visit <> to get involved.

“Home fires are the most frequent disaster in the Tennessee Region, and our neighbors need our community’s support to help them and their families stay safe,” said Joel Sullivan, regional executive for the American Red Cross of Tennessee. “We encourage everyone to take part in this rewarding experience of teaming with fellow volunteers and connecting with local families.”

As the nation honors the life of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., there are many ways that you can help in your community.  There are some immediate needs for volunteers in the region such as: Blood Transportation Specialist, Medical Screener, Blood Donor Ambassadors, and Disaster Action Team members in rural counties.

In the face of this year’s disasters, hundreds of thousands of people turned to the American Red Cross for food, shelter and recovery support in Tennessee and across the country.

Statewide, more than 2,700 volunteers responded to many different natural disasters, including floods, high winds and tornadoes that affected their fellow Tennesseans. In addition, volunteers helped 7,036 people affected by 1,732 home fires in the state by addressing their urgent needs like food and lodging and providing recovery support.