City Cast

How to Help Hawaii Wildfire Victims

Adrian González
Adrian González
Posted on August 15   |   Updated on August 16
A view of the wildfire damage in Maui from August 2023. Nearly all structures in view are severely damaged or collapsed.

The wildfires in Maui have devastated the Lāhāina community. (YUKI IWAMURA via Getty Images)

Last week’s Lāhinā wildfires in Maui have already become the most deadly in the country’s history, and officials say the death toll is likely to rise in the coming days. FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell told CNN that the damage reminded her of the 2021 Marshall wildfires near Boulder. Neighbors from across the world pitched in to help Colorado in the aftermath of that fire, so I want to share a few resources for how you can help the people of Lāhinā.

Where to Donate

  • Maui Strong Fund — the fund is operated by The Hawai‘i Community Foundation and distributed to local nonprofits on the ground.
  • Maui Food Bank — the hunger relief organization says every dollar donated can provide four meals on the island.
  • Kāko’o Maui —  The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement has pledged to match donations up to $1.5 million.
  • Maui Humane Society — donations help support animal medical costs.
  • Red Cross — the organization has set up emergency shelters for Hawaiians who need food and other services. You can also text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make an immediate $10 donation.

Beware of Scams

They’re a grim reality during natural disasters and a place where they’re most common is the crowdfunding website GoFundMe. The site itself has helpful information on how they verify the legitimacy of fundraisers. The Federal Trade Commision also has resources for how to spot fraudulent fundraisers.

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