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How to help victims of Hawaii wildfires

Multiple places across state are accepting donations from food to fostering animals

Brittany Miller
New York
Wednesday 16 August 2023 10:33 BST
Hawaii: Maui locals flee into ocean to escape wildfire

Thousands of Hawaii citizens have been displaced following wildfires that devastated the historic town of Lahaina in Maui.

Multiple neighbourhoods were burned as the fires were fueled by heavy winds blowing from Hurricane Dora, resulting in many being told to evacuate, with some Hawaii residents taking refuge in the ocean to avoid the flames. Many have lost their lives and thousands have been evacuated as a result of the wildfires.

Hawaii’s governor Josh Green has estimated that billions of dollars will be needed to fully recover, as the US Civil Air Patrol and the Maui Fire Department reported that approximately 271 structures were damaged or destroyed by the fires.

Here is a list of resources to help those impacted by the natural disaster.

The Hawaii Salvation Army began providing meals for the approximately 50 individuals who had taken shelter in Maui County’s/American Red Cross Pukalani shelter, an effort that is now spreading across the entire island. They are asking for monetary donations and meal donations from either restaurants or certified kitchens to continue giving out food and shelter.

“During emergencies, the best way the public can help is to provide monetary donations which allows the delivery of the exact relief supplies a community needs,” Victor Leonardi, divisional director of emergency services and safety for The Salvation Army Hawaiian & Pacific Islands Division, said in a news release. “Plus, The Salvation Army uses one hundred per cent of all donations designated ‘disaster relief’ in support of disaster operations.” Donations can be made on the Hawaii Salvation Army’s website.

There are also multiple fundraisers taking place across the state, including the ‘Āina Momona fundraiser through the Hawaii Community Foundation, the Kakoo Maui fund through The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, Alakaina Foundation Family, and Kakoo Haleakala, and the Hawaii Community Foundation Maui Strong Fund.

The grocery store Foodland is also accepting monetary donations at checkout to support The American Red Cross’s efforts. Other places accepting monetary donations include Aloha United Way, Maui Food Bank, and Maui Mutual Aid, which is focusing on supporting Maui families, elderly, people with disabilities and those without insurance.

If you are a Hawaii resident, the Hawaii Restaurant Association is putting together donations and gathering volunteers to help evacuees on Oahu. The Maui Police Department is also asking for specific donations of non-perishable food, bottled water, hygiene items, and blankets to be collected at Maui’s War Memorial Complex.

Ice cream shop Cream B and Hoomana Barbell are asking for donations of food, drinks, snacks, bedding, pillows, and personal hygiene products that can be picked up at 1826 Kaohu St.

The Maui Humane Society has said its animals are safe, however, the organisation has said it needs to allocate more space to displaced pets and is asking for more people to sign up to be fosters in the meantime.

In addition, the organisation is asking for donations of pet supplies to give to families who are keeping their animals. Monetary donations will also be accepted to help the shelter deal with the increase in care they need to provide. There is also a page on their website to report any lost or found pets

To find all of the latest updates about the Hawaii wildfires, follow our liveblog here.

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