Written By Pasadena Youth Corp Executive Board Member, Sophie Pham
“Home Fire Campaigns are one of my favorite Red Cross events. Not only do I get to go out and help people become better prepared for home fires (and possibly save lives), I also get the chance to meet other amazing volunteers who share my passion for helping others.
During Home Fire Campaigns, volunteers gather to educate residents about home fires and install free smoke alarms in homes throughout vulnerable communities in the Los Angeles area. Each person on a smoke alarm installation team has a specific role, and together, every team helps to reduce the risk of dying in a home fire by 51%. That’s more than half! And, although most teams are comprised of complete strangers, it’s amazing to see how quickly everyone gets to know each other through the combined effort of helping those in need.
I usually arrive to Home Fire Campaigns a little early, in order to help set up our base camp. Together, the other early-bird volunteers and I make sure everything for the event is set to run smoothly. Most often, my role at these events involves mapping out routes for teams to follow throughout the neighborhood. I always try to ensure that every team has a unique route to take because: no overlapping of routes means no hindering of volunteer efforts! Once teams are sent on their way, I stay back at base camp to oversee the teams. I’m also “on-call” if any help is needed.
For me, Home Fire Campaigns are always rewarding and productive events. And, although helping local residents is great, my favorite part is interacting with the other volunteers who are out and about early in the morning to help those in need. But, the most rewarding part of all is to see volunteers return to base-camp after a long day of installing smoke alarms. They always seem tired, but they are always smiling too, because together, everyone just helped save hundreds of lives!”
Psssst! If you are interested in joining us as a Home Fire Campaign volunteer, please visit: http://www.redcross.org/local/california/los-angeles/home-fire-safety
Sophie Pham is the Disaster Preparedness Officer for the Pasadena Youth Corps Executive Board. She served as Territory 2’s Disaster Services Summer Intern in 2016 and has been instrumental in helping the territory host many successful Home Fire Campaigns.