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

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By Dan Sears

MAUI — 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 36 people have died from the wildfires that erupted 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.

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.

Here’s a look at organizations accepting donations for Maui fire victims:

The Maui Strong Fund

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.

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“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.

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.

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Click here to donate online.

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 online.

Maui Food Bank

The food bank took to Instagram Wednesday, 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.

Maui County

Maui County officials have also called for nonperishable food, bottled water, hygiene items and blanket donations. Donations can be dropped off at Maui’s War Memorial Complex from 8 a.m. through 6 p.m. on Thursday.

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