Resources to Help Victims of the Maui Wildfires
The island of Maui recently experienced the deadliest wildfire in the United States in over a century with the death toll climbing to 99 as of Tuesday, August 15th. This number is expected to grow as teams search the remaining areas. The town of Lahaina was devastated by these fires, with much of the town and its historic sites being burned to the ground. Over 2200 structures were destroyed or damaged by the fire, 86% of them were residential structures.
Our hearts go out to the victims and their families of this tragedy. During moments like this, it is important to come together and give what you can. If you have the means, here are several organizations and resources that are worthy of your donations and time.
Hawai’i Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund
- Donations to the Maui Strong Fund support local non-profits directly.
- These organizations provided financial resources that can be deployed quickly and to those directly affected.
- Money is distributed to provide food, shelter, and financial assistance to those in need.
- 100 percent of funds will be donated to community needs.
Maui United Way
- Maui United Way is a 77-year-old non-profit that works to advance the common good by focusing on education, income, and health.
- They have created the Maui Fire Disaster Relief Fund, which aims to provided immediate financial assistance through grants to nonprofits at the forefront of the relief efforts.
- There are also providing immediate assistance directly to the households of those deeply affected.
Maui Food Bank
- The Maui Food bank is a local organization that is collecting and distributing food and other supplies to feed the victims of the wildfires.
- If you are in the area, they also accept donations directly in-person. If not, donations through their website will help purchase food and other household items.
Maui Humane Society
- Among those affected by the Maui wildfires are the animals of the island. The Maui Humane Society is accepting donations to assist with the influx of animals who need treatment due to smoke inhalation and burns.
- If you are in the area, there is also a need for individuals that can provide space to foster the animals.
- Unfortunately, while these emergencies often spur the best of humanity to come together to provide aid, there are also bad actors that are looking to take advantage of an already tragic situation.
- If you are going to donate to any individuals, make sure to verify the information they provide.
- GoFundMe has put in place a verification process to ensure that the identity of the organizers and recipients are confirmed before funds are dispersed.
- The Federal Trade Commission also has an article about avoiding fraudulent fundraisers: https://consumer.ftc.gov/consumer-alerts/2020/09/spot-and-stop-dishonest-charity-fundraisers
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