What’s it like to volunteer for Team Firestopper? Michael Lopez is an intern at the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago, and a volunteer for the Team Firestopper program. We thought we’d let him share his story!
"Our team (team 5), along with many of the other teams were assigned four houses in which we were supposed to complete safety checks to search out any potential fire hazards such as overloaded sockets, dangerous space heaters, or inappropriately placed candles. The team also showed the residents how to appropriately apply window film to insulate the windows of their home. While this was being completed I personally sat down the residents of the home and went over the kit they would receive. It included many important items such as a fire extinguisher, smoke detectors with a ten year lithium battery, a disaster kit, surge protector and a carbon monoxide detector. As we went over the items we also discussed the importance of creating a disaster plan and the items that would be needed to do so, many of the clients described never having thought about the importance of having one.
Overall, TFS reached their goal of 35 homes and it was a wonderful experience. The residents were very grateful to have the ARCGC in their neighborhood and it was apparent that the experience was well received by both the residents of the community and the volunteers; I personally met many wonderful people and am thankful to have been a part of this event. The resident of the last home we visited even gave us all a hug and thanked us for our compassion and interest in the well-being of her and her loved ones. Being a future social worker I have been involved in many activities involving the community but my involvement with the TFS has given me the chance to make a real difference in the lives of others. I would recommend participation with TFS to anyone interested in improving the lives of others.”
Want to volunteer or learn more about Team Firestopper? Visit www.chicagoredcross.org/tfs!