The recent wildfire in Lahaina, Maui, has left in its wake a devastated community grappling with loss and displacement. Thousands of residents have been displaced, and sadly, 114 lives have been confirmed lost.
But amidst this tragedy, the spirit of Aloha shines bright as various organizations and individuals rally to provide aid and support. This post will guide you on how to lend a hand to the victims of the Lahaina wildfire.
How to Help: Donations and Support
Several local and national organizations are accepting donations to provide immediate relief to those impacted by the wildfires. These include:
- Hawaii Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund
- Maui United Way
- The Salvation Army Hawaiian
- Hawaiʻi People’s Fund
- Hawaiʻi Lions Clubs
- Catholic Charities Hawaii
- Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation
For those looking to support Maui’s business community, the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce’s Hawaii Business Relief Fund is actively assisting businesses on the island.
Food security is a major concern in the wake of the fire. Organizations like the Maui Food Bank are collecting and distributing food to those in need. World Central Kitchen is also providing meals by partnering with local organizations.
There is an urgent need for supplies such as rice, canned meals, baby food, diapers, hygiene products, and more. Donations can be dropped off at designated locations across Maui.
On Oahu, donations of food, drink, first aid items, clothing, phones, hygiene items, bedding, and cash are being accepted.
Supporting First Responders
Organizations like ‘Āina Momona have established emergency funds to support Maui County’s first responders.
Supporting Displaced Animals
The Maui Humane Society is working tirelessly to provide shelters for displaced animals and care for injured ones. Donations to the Maui Humane Society are needed to help provide food and medical care for these animals.
Lend a Hand: Volunteer Opportunities
If you are able to offer your time, there are numerous volunteer opportunities available. Several organizations in Maui are seeking assistance in serving victims and aiding in recovery efforts. Here are some of them:
- Maui County: They need people to assist with rescue and relief operations.
- Maui Food Bank: They play a crucial role in providing food support.
- American Red Cross: Help is needed to assess the damage and distribute essential supplies.
- Maui Humane Society: They are seeking individuals to help with shelter operations and fostering.
- Hawaii Department of Health, Maui District Office: For inquiries, please call 808-984-8202.
- Maui Aids Foundation: They require assistance in carrying boxes and transporting supplies to shelters.
Beware of Scams: Tips to Donate Safely
Unfortunately, disasters often attract scammers looking to exploit people’s generosity. It’s essential to donate to trusted, well-known charities and verify their legitimacy.
Beware of suspicious donation requests and stay vigilant against the following tactics used by scammers:
- Don’t let anyone pressure you into donating; take your time to research thoroughly.
- Legitimate charities usually accept credit card or check donations, not cash or gift cards.
- Be cautious of names that closely resemble legitimate charities; always research before donating.
- Watch out for vague and sentimental claims without specific details on how your donation will be used.
Take caution and be wise when deciding to contribute, ensuring that your generosity reaches genuine causes.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Hawaii offers tips on avoiding fraud during times of disaster.
For more information on getting or giving help, visit Maui County’s Maui Nui Strong website.
As we witness the resilience and unity of the Maui community, it’s clear that the spirit of Aloha is stronger than ever. Your contribution, no matter how small, can make a significant difference in the lives of those affected by the Lahaina wildfire.