Here Are Six Ways to Donate to Help Maui Families and Communities

published Aug 11, 2023
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On the evening of Tuesday, August 8, devastating wildfires quickly spread through the Hawaiian island of Maui and the Big Island, leaving more than 50 people dead (as of totals shared by CNN on Thursday, August 10), thousands displaced, and setting fire to many homes and buildings. Shortly after, on August 10, President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in the state, ordering federal funds to be used toward recovery and relief efforts. The combination of hurricane-force winds brought on by Hurricane Dora and extremely dry conditions caused the wildfires that destroyed the historic town of Lāhaina and scorched its beloved banyan tree. According to CNN, 80% of the major wildfires have been contained as of August 11, but firefighters are still combating other fires in Maui county. 

Survivors of Lāhaina are in need of shelter, food, and supplies after their homes were destroyed. Here are six organizations you can donate to in order to show support for the families and individuals affected by the storm damage. Many of the organizations on the below list are accepting monetary donations in order to provide disaster relief to those in need. (You can confirm your charity of choice is legitimate by making sure the charity is registered with the Department of the Attorney General — and you can verify that online — or by using the IRS Tax Exemption Organization Search, Charity Navigator, and DCCA Business Search tools.

Below, find  information on how and what to donate as well as organizations actively seeking donations:

Maui Mutual Aid

Maui Mutual Aid is accepting donations via Paypal to the Grants Central Station and sharing resources for vulnerable residents who “wouldn’t otherwise qualify for support or have a hard time accessing it,” according to an Instagram post by disaster response team Maui Rapid Response. Nicole Huguenin, who is collecting donations for the grassroots organization, shared more information about Mutual Aid to her Instagram account.

Lāhui Foundation

The Lāhui Foundation, a Hawaii-based nonprofit organization that serves as a resource for underrepresented and underserved communities, is accepting donations for fire recovery efforts, and is currently accepting drop-off donations in Honolulu.

Maui Food Bank

The Maui Food Bank is accepting donations through its online form to assist with meals for displaced residents. The bank is also looking for volunteers to help with emergency distribution of the meals.

Maui Humane Society

The Maui Humane Society is accepting monetary donations for life-saving surgeries and supplies from its Amazon wishlist for animals displaced by the fires. According to the organization’s Instagram account, the shelter is “expecting an inundation of hundreds of animals who have been burned, lost during the evacuation process, and those in need of critical care due to smoke inhalation.” 

Hawaiian Red Cross

The local Hawaiian Red Cross is providing shelter to evacuees and displaced residents. According to its website, “Anyone who has been affected by the wildfire is welcome to stop by a shelter to get information, a hot meal, charge their phone, pick up relief supplies, and get health services.” 

Global Giving Relief Fund

The Global Giving Relief Fund is currently raising five million dollars to “support wildfire relief and recovery efforts in affected communities,” according to the website’s fundraising goal. Their current mission includes providing food, water, and emergency medical supplies for the affected victims and animals, supporting firefighters and other frontline workers, and offering temporary relief for displaced families. Its plans include supporting “longer-term recovery efforts run by local, vetted organizations in impacted areas, particularly those working with low-income, historically underserved communities.”  

If you need help locating a missing person due to the wildfires, the American Red Cross recommends calling 1-800 RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).