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Helping Hands for Hawaii: How You Can Support Maui Fire Relief Efforts

99 people have died and thousands of residents have power outages — here’s how you can help.
Alicia Maule
August 10, 2023

(Image: Matthew Thayer/ AP)

The idyllic landscapes of Hawaii, known for its serene beaches and lush greenery, have recently been disrupted by the devastating wildfires that continue to sweep through the region. With Maui being at the epicenter of the disaster, locals and visitors alike are grappling with the immediate impact and the potential long-term implications of these fires. Take a look at the latest developments and resources on how you can support the relief efforts. 

A Brief Overview:

Rising Death Toll: The latest figures indicate that 99 people have lost their lives due to the wildfires. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to the families affected.

Affected Areas: While Maui witnesses the most extensive damage, fires have also erupted on the islands of Hawaii and Oahu.

Natural Challenges: As if the fires weren't destructive enough, strong winds linked to Hurricane Dora are making containment efforts even more challenging.

Lahaina's Desolation: One of the most heart-wrenching aspects of this disaster is the decimation of Lahaina, a beloved vacation spot. Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke lamented its irrevocable change.

Federal Assistance: Recognizing the severity of the situation, President Biden declared a major disaster in Hawaii, paving the way for federal aid.

Key Developments:

Presidential Concerns: President Biden expressed his condolences and concerns during a phone call with Hawaii Gov. Josh Green, reiterating the nation's support.

Power Outages: Nearly 11,000 Maui residents are grappling with power outages, making rescue and relief operations even more imperative.

Satellite Imagery: Recent satellite photographs paint a bleak picture - entire communities reduced to ashes.

Rescue Efforts: Hawaii National Guard members and other rescue teams are working round the clock. Mass evacuations, especially in West Maui, are underway.

Containment Efforts: While no official containment figures are available, officials are hopeful for better news as they assess the situation in daylight.

How You Can Help:

While the situation is dire, the indomitable human spirit is evident through the outpouring of support. If you're wondering how you can contribute:

Donations: Numerous organizations, including Givepact, are collecting funds for relief efforts. Every dollar counts.

  • Hawaii Community Fund - “The Maui Strong Fund was created to provide community resilience with resources for disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. The fund is currently being used to support communities affected by the wildfires on Maui.”
  • Maui United Way - Fund is supporting residents impacted by the fires in Maui. 
  • Maui Food Bank - “With every $1 donated, the Maui Food Bank can provide 4 meals to the hungry living in our island community. Give now and together we can make a difference.”
  • Maui Human Society - In need of volunteers for dog foster parents and donations for pet supplies. 

Goods and Supplies: There's an urgent need for essentials like non-perishable food, clean water, clothing, and medical supplies. Details on mutual aid effots here.

Raise Awareness: Use your platforms - be it social media or word of mouth - to spread the word about the disaster and encourage others to help.

Stay Updated: Follow official channels and updates to know the evolving situation and requirements.

Let's rally behind Hawaii and do whatever we can to restore communities in urgent need.