Resources for Maui Residents Affected by West Maui Wildfires

Resources for Maui Residents Affected by West Maui Wildfires

  • Maggie Salerno
  • 08/26/23

The recent wildfires in West Maui have had a devastating impact on the community, displacing thousands and resulting in a death toll of 115 people as of recent reports. In response to this tragedy, several organizations across Hawaii are stepping up to provide aid and support to the victims. Here's a comprehensive list of resources and how you can help:

Cash Donations For Maui Fire Victims

  1. Hawaii Community Foundation Maui Strong fund: Focuses on rapid response and collaborates with local nonprofits to understand community needs.
  2. Maui Food Bank: Collects and distributes food to assist the hungry in Maui County.
  1. Maui United Way: Offers direct relief to families and nonprofits. 
  2. The Salvation Army Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Division: Provides food and resources for evacuees. 
  3. Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation: Partners with the state Department of Education to support school communities in West Maui. 
  4. Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement: Matches donations to Maui fire victims.
  5. Āina Momona: Established an emergency fund for Maui County first responders, including Firefighters, Lifeguards, and EMTs.
  6. Catholic Charities Hawaii: Collaborates with other organizations to assess the critical needs of those affected by the wildfires.
  7. Maui Humane Society: Supports shelters for displaced people and animals and cares for injured animals.
  8. Hawaii Chamber of Commerce Hawaii Business Relief Fund: Assists the business communities on Maui.
  9. World Central Kitchen: Provides meals to those in need by partnering with local organizations.
  10. Hawaii Lions Foundation: Matches donations up to $25,000 for Maui disaster relief efforts.
  11. Hawai‘i People’s Fund: Offers immediate relief to those directly impacted by the wildfires on Maui Island.

Donate Supplies To Maui Fire Victims

Maui Food Bank is collecting and distributing essential items, including:

  • Rice
  • Canned protein and meals (pop-top cans)
  • Snacks, protein and breakfast bars
  • Peanut butter, jelly, baby food
  • Diapers, feminine hygiene products
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper, paper towels, and other toiletries.

Maui Family YMCA is collecting and distributing school supplies, backpacks, and other essential items for displaced students.

Volunteer Opportunities

Several organizations are seeking volunteers to assist in various capacities, including rescue and relief efforts, damage assessment, supply distribution, and shelter support. Some of these organizations include Maui County, Maui Food Bank, American Red Cross, Maui Humane Society, The Salvation Army, and the Hawaii Department of Health, Maui District Office.

Avoid Scams

It's essential to ensure that your donations go to legitimate charities. The state Attorney General’s office has provided tips to avoid scams:

  • Donate to trusted, well-known charities.
  • Verify the charity's legitimacy through its official website.
  • Stay away from suspicious donation requests.

For more information and to stay updated, visit the Maui Nui Strong website for getting or giving help.

Shelter and Temporary Housing

For those displaced by the wildfires, several local organizations and community centers have opened their doors to provide shelter and temporary housing:

  1. Maui High School Gymnasium: Serving as an emergency evacuation center. They are equipped with basic amenities and are accepting both residents and their pets.
  2. Lahaina Civic Center: Another primary evacuation center, offering shelter, food, and medical assistance.
  3. Maui Humane Society: Providing temporary shelter for pets and animals displaced by the fire. They also offer veterinary care for injured animals.

Mental Health and Counseling Services

The trauma from such a disaster can have long-lasting psychological effects. Several organizations are offering counseling and mental health services:

Maui Mental Health Center: Offering free counseling sessions for those affected by the wildfires.

Hawaii Behavioral Health: Providing trauma counseling and support groups for victims and their families.

Legal Assistance

For those facing legal challenges as a result of the wildfires, such as insurance claims or property disputes:

Maui Legal Aid Society: Offering free legal consultations and assistance for wildfire victims.

Hawaii State Bar Association: Has set up a hotline for legal queries related to the wildfires.

Rebuilding and Recovery

Post the immediate relief, the focus will shift to rebuilding and recovery:

Habitat for Humanity Maui: Will be assisting in rebuilding homes for those who lost theirs in the fire.

Maui Contractors Association: Offering discounted services for home and infrastructure repairs.

Stay Informed

It's crucial to stay updated with the latest information:

Maui County Official Website: Provides regular updates on the situation, including road closures, evacuation orders, and recovery efforts.

Maui Now: A local news outlet offering real-time updates on the wildfires and relief efforts.

Conclusion

The West Maui wildfires have brought unprecedented challenges to the community, but the spirit of Aloha shines through in these trying times. The outpouring of support, both locally and from around the world, is a testament to the resilience and unity of the Maui community. Together, we will rebuild and come out stronger.

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