At least 93 people have died as wildfires ravaged Maui over the last week in one of the deadliest natural disasters in Hawaii's history. The state's Governor Josh Green said that more than 2,700 structures are believed to have been destroyed. About 15,000 tourists have evacuated. Hundreds of families have been displaced, and thousands face power outages and water shortages.
For people off-island looking to help, there are several ways to donate to local community organizations that are helping survivors cope. Below are some examples.
The organization has set up emergency shelters for Hawaiians who need a hot meal or a place to charge their phones. Red Cross workers will use financial donations to help people replace lost prescription medications or reading glasses, for example. Text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. More information here.
Maui Strong Fund
The Hawai‘i Community Foundation launched the fund, which boasts more than $1 million raised for fire relief so far. Donations will support local nonprofits who are providing food, shelter, and financial assistance to those affected by the wildfires. Consider making a donation online here.
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Maui Food Bank
The website says that for every $1 donated, the organization can provide four meals to those in need. It is accepting food and toiletries donations in-person, but says the fastest way to get aid to those who need it most is to make a donation online. Consider donating here.
Read More: Why the Maui Wildfire Was So Deadly
Scam fundraisers can be an issue in the aftermath of natural disasters. Donors should be wary of desperate appeals that ask for cash donations only, experts say, as legitimate charities will allow credit card payments. To address these concerns, GoFundMe, a website for raising money, is verifying fundraising efforts from individuals affected by the Maui wildfires. Browse the crowd-funding efforts here.
Maui Humane Society
The organization has been looking for pet food donations and people who can foster dogs to make room for the influx of animals who will need special treatment due to smoke inhalation and burns. You can help support animal medical costs here.
Read More: The History Lost in the Maui Wildfires
The Virginia-based relief organization is on the ground in Maui, delivering hot meals to victims and first responders. It is recruiting local chefs to help feed people in shelters and other needy residents in the coming days. Consider making a donation here.
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