American Red Cross hosts MLK Day event

The American Red Cross held its second annual Home Fire and Public Safety Event for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Monday.

From 11: 30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. many people gathered at Levy Park to explore the vendors and enjoy free food provided by The American Red Cross.  Children were provided a Kid Zone, which included face painting, balloon animal modeling and basketball.

The American Red Cross partnered with the Tallahassee Fire Department and The State Fire Marshall to spread awareness on Home Fire and Public Safety to the community in honor of MLK Jr. Day.  

In January of 2009, during the Presidential Inauguration,  Barack Obama announced Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a National Day of Community Service.  Obama encouraged everyone to not only reflect on the life of MLK but to use this day serve the community.  

Kat Purifoy, an Americorp member who is currently doing her term of service at the Capital Area Chapter of The American Red Cross, said the event is a great way to help bring awareness to the community on home fires and public safety.

“We are going door to door with the assistance of the Tallahassee Fire Department and the State Fire Marshall encouraging homeowners to check their smoke alarms and make sure that its working,” Purifoy said.  “Our goal is to reduce the occurrence of home fires by providing education, selling smoke alarms, creating community partners and engaging the public.”

Anthony Sampson,  a first-time volunteer and graduate of Florida A&M University,  said he likes how the Red Cross takes the time to increase community awareness on things that could possibly harm them.  

“I just wanted to be more involved in the community and it was actually fun learning about the environment that we live in,” Sampson said.

Tonya Hardaway, who is also a first-time volunteer and graduate of Florida A&M University, said the event was highly educational.

“I just wanted to participate to give back to the community and I actually ended up learning things about fire safety that I never would have known,” Hardaway said.  

For more information on Home Fire and Public safety or any future events, please contact Kat Purifoy at