How to help Maui fire victims from afar: Organizations and efforts underway

These organizations are accepting donations to help Maui fire victims.

August 16, 2023, 12:30 PM

Deadly wildfires on Maui have forced thousands of local residents and visitors to evacuate the area in search of shelter, food, water and other basic resources.

As of time of publication, at least 106 people have died from the wildfires that erupted last Tuesday on Maui, and much of the historic town of Lahaina has been "destroyed," officials said. A state of emergency has been declared for the whole island and all nonessential travel is being discouraged.

PHOTO: A wildfire burns in Kihei, Hawaii, Aug. 9, 2023.
A wildfire burns in Kihei, Hawaii, Aug. 9, 2023.
Ty O'Neil/AP

Continue reading for more on the relief efforts underway and organizations accepting donations, from a newly created Maui Strong Fund to local food banks and more.

Organizations accepting donations for Maui fire victims

The Maui Strong Fund - Hawaii Community Foundation

Authorities in Hawaii, including the Office of the Governor of Hawai'i, have encouraged those seeking to help to donate to this fund, which is being organized by the Hawaii Community Foundation.

"The Maui Strong Fund was created to provide community resilience with resources for disaster preparedness, response, and recovery," the foundation says on its website. "The fund is currently being used to support communities affected by the wildfires on Maui."

Click here to learn how to donate.

PHOTO: People gather at the Kahului Airport while waiting for flights Aug. 9, 2023, in Kahului, Hawaii.
People gather at the Kahului Airport while waiting for flights Aug. 9, 2023, in Kahului, Hawaii.
Rick Bowmer/AP

Red Cross

"You can make a difference in the lives of people impacted by Hawaii wildfires. Your donation enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster and will provide people and communities affected by the devastating fires with food, shelter, relief supplies, recovery planning support, and other assistance," the charity said.

Call 1-800-RED CROSS or click here to donate online.

Salvation Army - Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Division

The Salvation Army's Kahului Corps has already provided thousands of meals at Maui County and American Red Cross emergency shelters and is expanding across the island, the nonprofit announced in a press release Wednesday.

Click here to donate online.

Maui Mutual Aid Fund

This group of volunteers working to collect money and donations started a "needs list" posted to their social media pages, ABC News Honolulu affiliate KITV reported.

They are accepting donations to help Maui families, people with disabilities, elderly residents and others with limited or no insurance.

"If you have never done mutual aid work or never responded to a disaster and you feel you are called into responding right now, give us a call. We have a volunteer who will walk you through some very basic steps and will get you connected to the network," Nicole Haguenin, a volunteer with Maui Mutual Aid Fund, told KITV.

Click here to find out how to donate.

Aloha United Way

The Honolulu-based nonprofit organization started in 1919, has created a Maui Fire Relief Fund to help fire victims financially.

Click here to donate and learn more.

Maui Food Bank

The affiliate of the Hawai'i Foodbank took to Instagram, writing, "Maui, we stand with you during this emergency. Our hardworking staff is on the ground, making sure those affected get the help they need."

Click here to make an online donation, which the organization said is "the quickest way to make an impact."

The food bank has asked that phone and email requests remain limited, and directed those looking to help to continue checking its website for updates on the latest relief efforts.

Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement

The CNHA has partnered with Native Hawaiian and community organizations and businesses to match up to $1,000,000 in donations for ʻohana impacted by the devastating wildfires on Maui.

World Central Kitchen

The nonprofit that provides meals in the wake of natural disasters, founded by chef José Andrés, has its Relief Team delivering food to emergency workers, those in shelters and rural communities on Maui and the Big Island and will continue to identify and fill meal needs. Click here to learn more and donate.

University of Hawai’i Foundation

The University of Hawaiʻi said they are "uniquely positioned to respond quickly in emergencies affecting our students, faculty, and staff" and as such are ready with financial assistance for the UH community on any campus who have been affected by the fires on Maui.

"We are heartbroken but undaunted. Please join us in supporting our UH community. Every dollar you contribute will directly benefit our students and faculty, now when they need support most," the foundation said in a statement on their donation website.

Click here to learn more or contribute donations.

Chef Hui

The Hawaii-based group of local cooks and food service providers throughout the islands, set up a food and meal distribution hub at the University of Hawaii Maui College (UHMC) Culinary Arts facility in Kahului with volunteers from World Central Kitchen, Common Ground Collective and local chefs, some of whom lost their own restaurants in the wildfires.

Click here to learn more and support their relief efforts.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.