Response Updates

Top 10 Best Charities To Help Maui

Reported by Convoy of Hope

A series of wildfires in Hawaii in early August 2023 were the most severe on the island of Maui.

The Maui fires grew rapidly due to dry, gusty conditions made more severe by the path of Hurricane Dora south of the islands.

Lahaina, a town on Maui, took the brunt of the flames. An estimated 2,200 buildings were destroyed, including thousands of homes.

The death toll of 100 was the worst attributed to a U.S. wildfire since about 1,000 people lost their lives in 1918 during a Minnesota fire.

After reading about the loss of life and property caused by the devastating wildfires on Maui, you may have wondered if, among the best charities to help Maui, there was one that stood out above the rest.

Convoy of Hope volunteers running a field and mobile distribution in Maui to ensure individuals and families have the support they need.

Was there a best charity to help Maui fire victims?

Read on to learn how different organizations that respond to natural disasters helped make a difference through their wildfire relief efforts. Decide for yourself if one of these organizations merits a “best of” rating in their efforts to help the Maui community recover from this tragedy.

1. American Red Cross

The American Red Cross has an established reputation for responding to disasters, and the Maui fires were no exception.

The organization helped care for some 7,600 people affected by the wildfires — about 78% of the worst-hit town of Lahaina — who stayed in dozens of hotels after losing their homes to the flames.

This support included making sure each family had:

  • • Nutritious meals.
  • • Health and mental health services.
  • • Access to recovery resources.

2. Chef Hui

Chef Hui consists of local cooks and food service providers throughout Hawaii coming together to serve their community and deepen connections with the food system.

The nonprofit supports farmers, independent producers, and other like-minded groups that share a pursuit for a more resilient and compassionate world.

Chef Hui and partners produced more than 50,000 meals within the first six days of their response as shelter food and for community members in need. Partners continued to provide thousands of meals a day until food security could be reestablished.

3. Convoy of Hope

Convoy of Hope is a faith-based organization with a driving passion to feed the world through children’s feeding initiatives, community outreach, and disaster response.

In partnership with local churches, businesses, civic organizations, and government agencies, Convoy quickly organized a long-term response to the Maui fires.

By early November, Convoy had delivered more than 209,000 pounds of resources and served nearly 11,000 people. 

4. “Good Morning America”

Numbers of media outlets used their prominent platforms to draw attention, and donations, to the needs of Maui fire victims.

For example, Good Morning America and ABC News organized efforts to help viewers get involved in relief efforts.

By posting links to various nonprofits and their giving sites, the communications giants gave viewers the information necessary to make an informed donation decision.

5. Hawaii Community Foundation

The Hawaii Community Foundation coordinates 100s of funds, more than 1,100, including 300 scholarship funds, created by donors who desire to transform lives and improve communities.

In 2022, HCF distributed $87 million statewide.

HCF coordinated the Maui Strong Fund to provide financial resources to support immediate and long-term recovery needs for the people and places affected by the Maui fires.

As of December 1, about $160 million had been donated to the fund.

Hormel Foods Logo

6. Hormel Foods

The makers of Spam, citing their “special relationship with the Hawaiian community,” where the meat product is hugely popular, donated about $1 million worth — or more than 264,000 cans — to aid disaster-relief efforts on Maui.

Hormel partnered with Convoy of Hope to get the cans to where they are needed most.

7. Kokua Restaurant & Hospitality Fund for Maui

Workers in the restaurants and hospitality industries have endured financial difficulty as a result of businesses closed due to the fires.

The Kokua Restaurant & Hospitality Fund for Maui has raised nearly $1 million to provide immediate assistance to dedicated hospitality workers and restaurant employees displaced by the fires. 

8. Maui Food Bank

The Maui Food Bank’s mission is to help the hungry in Maui County by collecting and distributing food through community partnerships.

Following the fires, Maui Food Bank sprang into immediate action. Between August 9 and August 31, they distributed 548,367 pounds of food. 

9. Maui Humane Society

The Maui Humane Society worked tirelessly to reunite pets separated from their families during the fires.

The group launched a “Maui Fires Pets Help Group” on Facebook that quickly attracted nearly 9,000 members.

Maui Humane Society worked with first responders to provide needed medical care for pets rescued in the fire zone.

10. World Central Kitchen

World Central Kitchen founder Chef José Andrés built his organization on the theme that “Food is a Universal Human Right.”

His partner chefs have served meals to people recovering from hurricanes, wildfires, tsunamis, volcanoes, and other disasters around the world.

WCK’s Maui response included both centralized distribution centers and door-to-door delivery.

Next Steps

The needs in Maui will continue for months and years to come. You can still make a difference by connecting with and donating to one or more of these compassionate organizations.

Whichever group gains your evaluation of “best maui charity,” know that your help will play a part in pointing Maui fire victims to a more hopeful future.

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