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American Red Cross and HOPE worldwide Partner for MLK Day of Service

Friday, January 15, 2010 Press Release J E 4
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Volunteers to honor Dr. King's memory by providing fire safety information to thousands

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American Red Cross and HOPE worldwide volunteers, armed with fire safety tips, will canvass neighborhoods in more than 40 cities across the country for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, which occurs this year on January 18--the day Dr. King's birthday is commemorated.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090108/RedCrossLOGO)

During the holiday weekend conversations with residents, and bilingual printed materials, will educate people on ways to prevent home fires and protect themselves should they experience a fire. The initiative takes place in the dead of winter, the time of year when the most home fires occur.

"Home fires can frequently be prevented," said Scott Conner, senior vice president of American Red Cross Preparedness and Health and Safety Services. "We are encouraging people to think about fire safety as they cook and heat their homes. The American Red Cross appreciates the work of HOPE worldwide volunteers who make it possible to reach thousands of people with our fire safety messaging."

This is the third year Red Cross chapters and HOPE worldwide offices have recognized the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service by partnering to distribute fire safety information in neighborhoods most vulnerable to home fires.

"Individuals, families and entire congregations are getting ready to go into their communities to spread the word about ways to heat and cook safely, the value of smoke alarms and the need to create and practice a fire escape plan," said Antonio Boyd, HOPE worldwide vice president. "HOPE worldwide volunteers look forward to working with the American Red Cross on fire safety during the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday."

Last year more than 4,000 HOPE worldwide and Red Cross volunteers recognized the MLK Day of Service by visiting nearly 77,000 households in 26 cities across the nation.

Home fires are America's biggest disaster threat. Every day the Red Cross helps people affected by more than 170 home fires, providing clothing, food and lodging. More than 94 percent of the 67,000 disasters the Red Cross responds to each year are fire related.

About HOPE worldwide:

HOPE worldwide is an international charity that changes lives by harnessing the compassion and commitment of dedicated staff and volunteers to deliver sustainable, high-impact, community-based services to the poor and needy. In North America., HOPE worldwide operates 99 Chapters and works in cooperation with over 135 churches that provide more than 20,000 volunteers. The organization's volunteers mobilize to help their communities with issues of disaster preparedness and relief, education, children, seniors, employment and community outreach.

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 www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

SOURCE American Red Cross
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