Maui Has Just Suffered The Deadliest Fires In A Century — Here’s How To Help

Late last week, the Hawaiian island of Maui suffered the deadliest wildfires the US has seen since 1918. Beginning as a brush fire on August 8, the situation quickly escalated into a hurricane-fuelled blaze that has left locals devastated. The death toll is currently at 93, but with hundreds of people still unaccounted for, this is expected to continue rising for some time. 
Fires are also blazing on Hawaii, known as The Big Island, but these are reportedly now under control and have been less destructive. 
Once the royal capital of Hawaii and the burial place of the Hawaiian royal family, Lahaina was also home to the last Hawaiian queen, Lili'uokalani. The town holds centuries of history and is revered by Native Hawaiians, of whom many have now lost their homes, property and livelihoods. 
In a statement on August 9, Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey, chairwoman of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, said, “Lahaina holds some of the most historically significant cultural properties and highest-ranking sacred remains of our ancestors.
“The fires of today are in part due to the climate crisis, a history of colonialism in our islands, and the loss of our right to steward our ʻāina and wai [land, sea and waters]. Today we have watched our precious cultural assets, our physical connection to our ancestors, our places of remembering — all go up in smoke. The same Western forces that tried to erase us as a people now threaten our survival with their destructive practices.”
Hawaii is one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations. In 2019, 287,995 Australians alone travelled to the Hawaiian islands for a holiday, with the coastal town of Lahaina (the hardest-hit area in Maui) being one of these highly-visited areas. 
Locals have been urging tourists to stop visiting the island for years, particularly amid water shortages and restrictions that came into place in 2021 due to relentless droughts on the islands. It should go without saying; if you have a trip booked to Hawaii, now more than ever, you should cancel it.
What else can we do to help (besides steering clear of the area)? Donate. 
According to the New York Times, the Maui Emergency Management Agency estimates it will cost USD $5.52 billion to rebuild in Maui County. With state help currently light on the ground, there are grassroots efforts we can all support from afar. Here's where you can donate.
With a focus on rapid response and recovery from the wildfires, donating to Maui Strong Fund will help support evolving needs on the ground, including shelter, food and financial assistance. 
Maui United Way has urgently activated its Maui Fire Relief Fund to directly support victims of the devastating fires. The goal is to provide immediate financial assistance via grants and nonprofits to both households directly that have been affected, as well as nonprofits on the ground.
Maui Food Bank’s mission has always been simple: to provide food to the hungry in Maui County (of which, 40% are children and youth). According to the website, $1 USD provides meals to four people who need them, so your donations will have a tangible impact on a community that really needs them. 
While the Maui Humane Society is calling for physical pet food donations and help in fostering animals at this time, donations are also sorely needed to cover the medical costs of animals affected by the fires. 
The Red Cross has deployed 220 trained disaster workers from the Hawaiian islands and mainland America to help with rescue and relief efforts on the ground. Immediately opening shelters for evacuees, your donations will help provide shelter, food and much-needed medications for those who need it. 
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