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.
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.
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.
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.
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