Story by Ekland Durousseau and Juanita Casanova, Photos by Juanita Casanova and Diana Maldonado

Earlier this month, Red Cross volunteers in South Texas joined forces with Willacy County Judge George Solis and the local Food Bank at the American Legion Hall in Raymondville, Texas to help make homes safer.

The hall serves as a meeting place for local veterans and senior citizens, making it an ideal location for many in the area.

The pandemic has taken a toll on many community members struggling with job loss. Judge Solis saw an opportunity to combine the local food pantry with safety and preparedness resources the Red Cross is known for.

As community members drove through the line, Red Cross volunteers would talk to them about home fire safety, show them how to create a home fire escape plan and sign them up to receive free smoke alarms in their home.

In partnership with the Red Cross, local fire departments from Raymondville, La Sara, Sebastian, San Perlita, Port Mansfield, and Lyford, Texas will install the requested smoke alarms.

Volunteers also provided hurricane preparedness materials like checklists on what to put in your emergency kit and safety tips to plan what to do in when a hurricane is in the Gulf. With hurricane season less than a month away, this was a perfect opportunity to remind the public of the measures they can take to stay safe.

Thanks to Judge Solis, the Red Cross was able to serve more than 270 people, making more than 110 homes safer through education and smoke alarm installation efforts.

If you are interested in volunteering with the Red Cross visit:

To learn more about home fire safety visit: