By Los Angeles Region CEO, Jarrett Barrios

|    OK, most of us know how it goes down.

But, for the few that don’t, it looks something like this:  A good friend hits you up, sending a little paragraph on how hard he’s been training on his bicycle and why he’s doing it for diabetes. Then comes the link for you to make a donation to his “fundraising page” to help him reach his $3,000 goal for researching the disease’s cure. Sound familiar?

OK. Maybe it wasn’t diabetes. Maybe it was lymphoma. Or HIV and AIDS. Or, maybe it’s not a bicycle ride, but instead a 3-day walk to support breast cancer research. Or a marathon run to raise money for children’s birth defects.

You get the point, right?

Well, whatever the cause, we respond – more often than not – with a small donation.  Why? Because it’s a worthy cause, but more importantly, because it’s our friend who asked for support!

At the American Red Cross, we don’t have marathons or bikeathons or walkathons.  But this fall, we will have our first ever installathon— an unprecedented campaign to install over 100,000 life-saving free smoke alarms in homes across the United States— including the installation of our millionth free smoke alarm!

We may not have moving stories about children in need of operations, or families struggling with the unimaginable tragedy of leukemia or lung cancer.  But, we do have stories of lives saved, because every day seven people die in home fires, and most deaths and injuries related to home fires occur in homes that lack properly-working smoke alarms.

One million alarms is reason enough to get excited. But, what’s even more exciting is that we’ve already saved over 250 lives by installing free smoke alarms!

Are you ready?

We are going to take our message to the world and see if it moves others to support our important work, and we need your help!

Beginning in September, Sound the Alarm installation and fire safety events will begin taking place in communities across the country. Here in L.A., our goal is to install 4,000 free smoke alarms at five Sound the Alarm events:

Saturday, September 23, 2017 (El Monte/South El Monte)

Saturday, September 30, 2017 (East LA)

Saturday, October 7, 2017 (Sylmar)

Saturday, October 14, 2017 (South LA)

Saturday, October 21, 2017 (Compton)

I invite you to join us for at least one of these Saturday mornings, to save lives by installing alarms and educating families about home fire safety. But, just as important, I’m inviting you to help us raise the dollars that provide financial assistance to fire victims, and cover the costs of the Red Cross providing comfort and care to those affected by devastating home fires.

Volunteering is easy. Really easy. Just click on the link above for the event you’d like to join. Or, do it right from your phone, by texting “SOUNDTHEALARM” (all one word) to 75759.

Then, rally your friends and family to sponsor your installation efforts via one of our Crowdrise Fundraising Teams! I believe your friends and family will happily give to our cause, because with already more than 250 lives saved, clearly, their help is going to make a difference!

And, as always, stay tuned to our social media channels, and follow us @RedCrossLA on Twitter for more information on how you can help us Sound the Alarm, Save a Life in a Los Angles community near you!


Jarrett Barrios is the Chief Executive Officer at the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region. But, above all, Jarrett Barrios is a humanitarian, with more than 20 years of experience helping those in need throughout the United States and Cuba. 

To learn more about Jarrett Barrios or the America Red Cross Los Angeles Region, visit  


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