How to help Maui, Hawaii, residents affected by fires from Michigan
- At least 55 have died because of the wildfire on Maui, Hawaii, and the numbers will rise
- The town Lahaina has been destroyed, displacing thousands of residents and tourists displaced.
- Several organizations including the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army are accepting donations to help
President Joe Biden declared a major disaster on Thursday in response to the wildfire on the Hawaii island of Maui, and people from all over the world are looking for ways to help.
Officials confirmed 55 deaths as of Friday, but that number is expected to climb. Several buildings were severely damaged, thousands were displaced, more than 11,000 homes and businesses are without power and the historic town of Lahaina was destroyed.
Some survivors fled to the Pacific Ocean. The U.S. Coast Guard said they rescued 14 people including two children.
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“What we saw today was likely the largest natural disaster in Hawaii state history,” said Gov. Josh Green in a press conference .
“It’s going to take a great deal of time to recover from this, but we have the support from every level of government.”
The cause of the wildfires is still unknown, but strong winds from Hurricane Dora — a Category 4 hurricane traveling across the Pacific Ocean hundreds of miles south of the island – and dry conditions made the fire spread quickly, according to the National Weather Service.
The wildfire is the deadliest natural disaster on the island since 1960, when a tsunami killed 61 people.
Here’s how you can help:
The American Red Cross
Workers from the American Red Cross are in Hawaii opening shelters for residents and tourists. To make a donation, visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767), or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
The Hawai'i Community Foundation
The governor’s office has directed donors to the Hawai’i Community Foundation. The organization, which has already raised $1 million by Friday, is accepting donations through its Maui Strong Fund for fire victims. Contact Donor Services at email@example.com or (808) 566-5560 for further information.
Maui United Way
The organization has set up a Maui Fire and Disaster Relief Donations Page to help victims. All donations are processed online.
The Maui Mutual Aid Fund is accepting donations to help Maui families, older residents and people with disabilities assistance.
The Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Division of the Salvation Army is accepting donations to provide meals for thousands of displaced residents in Maui emergency shelters.
GoFundMe has verified numerous fundraising efforts to help individual families and victims. Accounts are raising money for individuals who have lost their homes, the Hawaii Foodbank, and more. Some of the accounts are heartbreaking: They “fled their burning neighborhood with their 4 dogs and land turtle leaving behind the family guinea pigs and pet rabbits and all their belongings. They are safe and sheltering … but this beautiful family and their community have lost everything.”
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