How to Help Maui Wildfire Victims: Where to Donate and Support

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Hawaii needs help. The death toll from the catastrophic Maui fires has reached 55—and that number is only expected to rise. Maui County Police Chief John Pelletier estimates the number of missing people to be around 1,000, though Pelletier cautions that “honestly we don’t know.”

Hawaii officials are predicting the fires will become the deadliest disaster Hawaii has faced since becoming a state in 1959. The exact cause of the blaze is still unknown, but the fires broke out earlier this week and quickly engulfed coastal communities. The historic town of Lahaina, once the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom, has been completely decimated. Lahaina’s famous 60-foot banyan tree, originally planted in 1873, appears to be badly charred but still standing—a beacon of hope in a bleak time.

Hawaii officials estimate that some 1,700 buildings have been destroyed by the fires and up to 4,000 people have been displaced. Donations, volunteers, and assistance are desperately needed. ELLE.com has compiled a list of ways to help the people, animals, and land of Hawaii, below.

dozens killed in maui wildfire leaving the town of lahaina devastated

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Maui Mutual Aid Fund: The Maui Mutual Aid Fund is made up of a group of volunteers who have created a real-time “needs list” that gets posted to their social media pages.

Maui Strong Fund: This fund, recommended by the local Hawaii government, is currently being used to support communities affected by the wildfires on Maui.

Maui Humane Society: The Maui Humane Society is looking for fosters and donations. They have also created a Maui Fires Pets Help Facebook group to serve “as a platform for individuals who are able to help to connect with those in need, without straining the resources at the shelter.”

Maui United Way: The organization is looking for donations to provide immediate financial relief via grants to nonprofits on the frontlines.

American Red Cross: The Red Cross is helping evacuees and gathering resources and volunteers from across the U.S. to help.

Maui College: Many students have been directly impacted by the fires. The University of Hawaii Foundation is accepting donations to assist displaced students.

Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement: The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement pledged to match donations, which will “not only help them rebuild but also show the strength of our unity and aloha spirit.” 100 percent of the proceeds go to Maui organizations to support relief efforts.

Headshot of Rose Minutaglio

Rose Minutaglio

Senior Editor

Rose is a Senior Editor at ELLE overseeing features and projects about women’s issues. She is an accomplished and compassionate storyteller and editor who excels in obtaining exclusive interviews and unearthing compelling features.

 

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