On Tuesday, August 8th, 2003, a wildfire swept through Maui island, causing significant damage to homes and businesses. The town of Lahaina, with its historic buildings, was particularly affected, leaving nothing but ash and ruins. This tragic event has prompted a plea for support; the people of Maui are in dire need of humanitarian aid to help them recover. In this document, we offer guidance on how readers can assist – whether through donations, volunteering, or raising awareness – and contribute to the healing of Maui and its community. Your help can significantly contribute to the healing process of Maui and its people.

How to Help

Extend Your Support to Our Local Partners

You can offer assistance directly to our activity providers and affiliates. Your immediate support can expedite recovery efforts, enabling them to resume their services and rebuild their lives in the aftermath of the Maui Wildfire. If you are willing and able, we kindly encourage you to extend your hand of help directly to these affected parties:

  • Maui Off Road Adventures: Maui Off Road Adventures is a remarkable initiative that provides a thrilling and immersive experience of Maui’s diverse landscapes. The Maui Off Road team, affectionately known as “Ohana” in Hawaiian, has suffered an unimaginable loss due to the recent wildfire. This catastrophe has ravaged their homes, and their property, and threatened their livelihood. Your support can prove instrumental in providing shelter, supplying essentials, and restoring hope for our Ohana. Help the Maui Off Road team reclaim their paradise, donate here.
  • Trilogy Excursion: A renowned provider of sea adventures, has been significantly affected by the Maui wildfires. Dedicated to preserving the natural beauty of the islands, they have always focused on sustainable tourism. Now, they are seeking your help to overcome the challenge at hand. The donations received will primarily be utilized to support their dedicated team of employees, who have been adversely affected by this catastrophe. Visit their GoFundMe page to donate.
  • Pacific Whale Foundation: Their efforts to protect the ocean and its inhabitants have been deeply valued within our community. Currently, they are facing significant operational challenges due to the effects of the wildfire. The funds received will primarily be used to support the foundation’s staff who are dealing with severe losses and to restore some of the damaged facilities and programs. Your generosity can help keep the spirit of marine conservation alive in these trying times. More details will be available on their ohana relief fund page.
  • Feast at Lele: Known for their delectable Polynesian cuisine and authentic cultural performances, they have been an integral part of Maui’s hospitality industry. Now, they are knocking on your kind hearts for assistance as they navigate through these trying times. 100% of the funds collected will be primarily directed towards providing immediate relief to their staff and their families, many of whom have lost more than just their homes in the fires. Your donation will be a beacon of hope, helping these individuals regain their footing. Visit their GoFundMe page to donate.
  • Old Lahaina Luau: Old Lahaina Luau has been a beacon for preserving our rich cultural heritage. The devastating fires have caused unthinkable damage to their infrastructure, forcing them to temporarily stop their heartwarming performances. The funds raised will be primarily used to support their dedicated staff members. Help them recover and continue their mission of sharing Hawaii’s cultural heritage. Donate here.
  • Hawaii Ocean Rafting: This cherished provider of ocean adventures has not been left unscathed by the Maui wildfires. This organization is known for its commitment to protecting marine life and educating visitors about Hawaii’s unique ocean ecosystem. At present, they are appealing to your spirit of Aloha to help combat the challenges posed by the wildfires. The contributions received will primarily be directed towards supporting their passionate staff. We deeply appreciate your support during these turbulent times and will keep you updated through their GoFundMe page.
  • BKR (Our Brand Ambassador’s Relief Efforts for Lahaina): BKR has stepped forward in these trying times, launching a heartfelt initiative to raise donations for Lahaina, a region severely affected by the wildfires. BKR is not only a figure of influence to us, but also a local hero committed to aiding the community’s recovery process. His efforts focus on providing direct help to those who have lost their homes and belongings in the fire. This is not just about rebuilding structures—it’s about restoring lives and the sense of community.  Stay tuned for updates on BKR’s GoFundMe page. Every bit of help counts, so please consider contributing and sharing the word about BKR’s fundraising mission.
  • Sea Maui: Best known for their unforgettable snorkeling tours and sunset cruises, Sea Maui is now showing its commitment to the island in a whole new way. Join them in the endeavor to support their dedicated employees and their families who’ve been affected by the Maui wildfires. Sea Maui has set up a GoFundMe page where you can directly contribute and make a difference.
  • Polynesian Adventure Tours LLC: Another local gem, known for their exquisite tours that offer an authentic Polynesian experience, they are now rallying for a different cause – to aid their community in need. Their GoFundMe page is a testament to their commitment to their island and its people. To support their endeavor, consider making a donation. No contribution is too small, and every dollar will help accelerate the recovery process.
  • Myths of Maui: Myths of Maui offers a unique and immersive experience into the rich culture and traditions of Hawaii. They provide a variety of activities that highlight the enchanting folklore and myths of the island. This organization that has done so much to preserve and share the rich culture of Maui is now in need of our assistance. You can contribute directly to their recovery efforts by donating to their GoFundMe page. All proceeds from these campaigns will go directly to relief efforts for Maui residents and the community.
  • Bob’s Maui Dive Shop (Alii Nui Maui): While the wildfire may have affected certain areas, the South Side of Maui remains open and welcoming. Your continued support of local businesses and activities contributes significantly to the community and helps maintain the vibrant culture of the island. Alii Nui & Maui Dive Shop, known for their unforgettable underwater experiences and dedication to ocean conservation, have pledged their support to the community in these trying times. For every ticket sold, they will be donating $10.00 to several charities. Key among these are the Maui Strong Fund and the Maui Food Bank. If you are moved to contribute more towards the rebuilding and sustenance of Maui, you may make additional donations here. In the spirit of unity and support, they will be matching the first $5 of each donation, doubling the impact of your contribution.
  • Segway of Maui (Stardust Hawaii LLC): Segway Maui has not only been a hub for exhilarating local experiences but has also served as a storyteller, sharing the rich history of Lahaina with countless individuals. With their tours, they weave tales of the past, imparting knowledge about the historic town and its significant landmarks. The wildfire has disrupted this vital cultural exchange, but you can help revive it. By donating to their GoFundMe campaign, you aid in preserving and sharing Lahaina’s history with more generations to come.
  • North Shore Zipline: North Shore Zipline is an adventure company renowned for providing exhilarating zipline tours that offer breathtaking views of Maui’s north shore. They are stepping up in these trying times to contribute to local relief efforts. They are working diligently to ensure that your generous donations reach those most affected by the Maui Fire. To aid in their efforts, please consider donating to their GoFundMe page. For August, North Shore Zipline will also match all individual donations up to $100 per person. This means that your act of kindness will have double the impact on the lives of those affected.
  • Skyline Eco-Adventure (Maui): As part of our community effort to rebuild Maui after the devastating wildfire, we are highlighting local businesses and foundations working tirelessly in recovery efforts. Skyline Eco-Adventure is one such selfless organization. They are known for their thrilling zipline tours across some of the most breathtaking landscapes of Maui. However, in these challenging times, they are doing much more – actively contributing to those profoundly affected by the wildfire tragedy. You can help support their cause by booking one of their exhilarating zipline adventures. By choosing to embark on this adventure, you’re providing stable employment for their exceptional team of guides, drivers, and support staff during these challenging times. You can also donate directly to their employees by following this link.
  • Kaanapali Ocean Adventures: The devastation of the Maui Wildfire has deeply affected local businesses, including Kaanapali Ocean Adventures. Kaanapali Ocean Adventures provides thrilling and unforgettable marine experiences in the sparkling waters of the Pacific Ocean. The flames consumed their boat, a fundamental aspect of their business, and even their personal vehicle. As they begin the arduous process of recovery and rebuilding, your support can make a significant difference. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help recoup some of their losses. Your donations will directly contribute to their efforts to restore the business and overcome this challenging period.
  • Atlantis Adventures:  Atlantis Adventures is actively responding to the Maui Wildfire crisis. They are committed to providing their guests with a fun Maui submarine adventure beneath the sea, all while ensuring safety remains a top priority. In these trying times, Atlantis Adventures seeks to offer a respite. All of the funds donated through this initiative will be directed towards assisting the employees of Atlantis Adventures and their families in this time of emergency. These funds will provide immediate relief to those affected most, helping them meet their basic needs until the business can reopen. Donate here.
  • Goofy Foot: Their commitment to teaching the art of surfing and promoting the spirit of Aloha have touched countless lives over the years. You can help them rebuild and recover by supporting the Goofy Foot Surf School Regeneration Fund. Your donations will help revive the school and directly support their staff during these challenging times. You can also directly donate to their staff through their individual Venmo account indicated in their GoFundMe page.
  • Kolea Charters of Lahaina, Inc. (Reef Dancer and America II): For years, Kolea Charters of Lahaina, Inc. has been a favorite among locals and tourists alike, with its offerings of the Reef Dancer and America II sailing experiences. Complementing the delightful repast is a range of entertainment options, showcasing the rich and diverse cultures across Polynesia. In light of recent events, a GoFundMe page has been set up, and it’s more than just a fundraiser. It’s an opportunity for us all to give back. Please know that 100% of funds collected will be distributed directly to the employees who’ve made such memorable experiences possible.

Please bear in mind that the funds raised are not intended to support our business operations. Instead, they are meant to alleviate the immediate hardships faced by the employees, their families, and other victims of the wildfire. This includes those who have lost their homes and possessions in the devastating fires. By contributing, you’re directly aiding those in urgent need, helping them to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of this disaster. Stay tuned for updates on their individual GoFundMe pages.

Donate from Anywhere in the World

Distance doesn’t limit your ability to help. One of the most effective ways to contribute is through financial donations. Various organizations, both local and national, are working tirelessly to provide relief aid to the affected communities. Your generous aid, no matter how far away you are, can make a significant difference during these challenging times. Here are the verified platforms for your donations to ensure they reach the intended recipients:

  • Venmo Mutual Aid Initiative by Lahaina Residents – A group of compassionate Lahaina residents have mobilized to provide direct financial support to those most affected. This mutual aid initiative, centered on the use of Venmo, aims to extend assistance to our neighbors who’ve tragically lost homes and loved ones in this monumental catastrophe. By sharing the Venmo details of those in desperate need, we can ensure that every dollar donated goes directly to those who need it most.
  • Hawaii Community Foundation Maui Strong Fund – The Hawai’i Community Foundation, understanding the urgency of the situation, has stepped up to form the Maui Strong Fund. This fund is specifically designed to support communities hit hardest by the wildfire. It aims to provide necessary resources for both immediate response efforts and long-term recovery.
  • Aloha United Way – This fund will channel all contributions directly to relief efforts, ensuring that help reaches those who need it most in the aftermath of this devastating wildfire
  • Hawaii Salvation Army – The Salvation Army is focused on ensuring that evacuees housed in shelters across the island receive nourishing meals in this time of crisis. It’s a concerted effort to not just feed their bodies, but also to provide some comfort amid the upheaval.
  • Maui Mutual Aid Fund – The Maui Mutual Aid Fund takes a community-centered approach to disaster relief, ensuring that all funds collected are distributed to the most vulnerable ‘Ohana (families) in need. This includes disabled community members, those lacking insurance protections, and renters who may not have the financial buffer to deal with such devastating events.
  • Maui Food Bank – The Maui Food Bank is not just about providing immediate relief; they play a critical role in the longer-term recovery of the community. By donating, you’re giving more than just food. You’re offering hope and a path toward  recovery to those who have lost so much in the Maui wildfire.
  • Kakoo Maui Fund – The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, the Alakaina Foundation Family, and Kakoo Haleakala have shown their profound commitment to the relief efforts. These generous organizations have pledged to match donations made towards the Kakoo Maui fund, up to a combined total of $100,000. The funds raised through these efforts are committed to directly benefiting the families and businesses hardest hit by the Maui wildfire.
  • Hawaii Restaurant Association – Besides organizing donations, the HRA is also facilitating volunteer efforts both on Maui, where the wildfire is active, and on Oahu, where many evacuees have sought refuge. Their efforts include setting up food drives, providing meals for the evacuees, and mobilizing volunteers to assist in recovery operations. Relief efforts on Maui here. Relief efforts for evacuees transported to Oahu here.
  • GoFundMe’s Wildfire Relief Fund – One of the remarkable benefits of donating to GoFundMe’s Wildfire Relief Fund is that your generous contribution is managed and distributed by experts. These professionals meticulously verify each fundraising campaign and make certain that the grants reach those most in dire need. This rigorous procedure helps to maintain transparency and accountability.
  • The sports community in Hawaii is rallying together to support those impacted by recent events. ESPN Honolulu is leading the charge by launching a fundraiser. To find out more information and get involved, click here. Additionally, Oahu native and MMA fighter Ilima-Lei MacFarlane is also lending her support through a fundraiser on her Instagram page. Join them in making a difference.

Donate to the Displaced Families/Evacuees

For those who are local and can provide tangible assistance, donations of food, drinks, and snacks are greatly appreciated. Essential items for infants such as baby formula and diapers are also urgently needed. Clothing for adults, children, and infants, as well as bedding, pillows, towels, and personal hygiene products, are other items that displaced families require. These items can be dropped off at the following designated locations, ensuring they reach those who need them the most

  • Ice cream shop Cream B and Hoomana Barbell Gym Ho’omana Barbell at 1826 Kaohu St., Wailuku, HI 96793
  • Sparky’s Restaurant — 385 Hoohana Street, Suite 5C, Kahului, Hawaii 96732
  • Paia Bay Coffee Bar — 120 Hana Hwy, Paia, Hawaii 96779
  • War Memorial Complex — 700 Halia Nakoa St, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793 (enter via Kanaloa Avenue)

Donate to the First Responders

First responders are working around the clock in challenging conditions to ensure safety. Donating food and water is a tangible way to show our support and contribute to their wellbeing. Look for these local businesses and community centers which have been set up as drop-off locations:

  • The Boba Bar Paia + Anthony’s Coffee — 2 Baldwin Ave, Paia, HI 96779.
  • Espresso Mafia Maui — 3617 Baldwin Ave, Makawao, Hawaii 96768
  • Anytime Fitness Pukalani — 24 Kiopaa St, Makawao, Hawaii 96768
  • Lumeria Maui Retreat Center — 1813 Baldwin Ave, Makawao, Hawaii 96768
  • Maluhia Collective — 1960 Main St, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793
  • Hi-Tech Store — 425 Koloa St, Kahului, Hawaii 96732
  • Ice cream shop Cream B and Hoomana Barbell Gym Ho’omana Barbell at 1826 Kaohu St., Wailuku, HI 96793.

Please refrain from directly donating items to fire stations, as per the request of local officials.

They particularly recommend items that are easy to consume and high in energy, such as protein bars and nuts. Sandwiches, wraps, burritos, and musubis provide substantial nourishment to sustain them during their demanding work. Fresh-cut fruit is also appreciated for its hydration and nutritional value. As for beverages, water, juice, and hydration drinks are most needed to keep the firefighters well-hydrated. Your thoughtful consideration toward the specific needs of our brave firemen is greatly appreciated.

Foster a Pet

Help the Maui Humane Society by fostering an animal. The shelter needs  space to accommodate more displaced pets. Whether you are a resident or living outside of Hawaii, there are various ways to support the shelter:

  • Provide pet supplies to families who have been displaced but still have their animals.
  • Donate to help the shelter meet the growing demand for care.
  • Report any lost or found pets through the designated platform.
  • For additional information, call (808) 877-3680 or visit the shelter’s website.

Know More about the Emergency Shelters

According to the Hawaii Red Cross, several shelters have been established across the island to provide refuge for those affected by the fire. These shelters are located at strategic points to ensure easy access for those in need.  It’s also crucial to respect the privacy and dignity of shelter residents during these challenging times.  For those wishing to support, donations of food, clothing, and essential supplies to these shelters are invaluable:

  • Hannibal Tavares Community Center — 91 Pukalani St, Makawao, Hawaii 96768
  • Lahaina Civic Center — 1840 HI-30, Lahaina, Hawaii 96761
  • Kihei Community Center — 303 E Lipoa St, Kihei, Hawaii 9675
  • Waimea Community Center — 65-1260 Kawaihae Rd, Waimea, Hawaii 96743
  • Hisaoka Gym — Kamehameha Park, 54-382 Kamehameha Park Rd, Kapaau, Hawaii 96755
  • Maui High School — 660 Lono Ave, Kahului, HI 96732, United States
  • Hannibal Tavares Community Center — 91 Pukalani St, Makawao, HI 96768, United States
  • War Memorial Complex — 700 Halia Nakoa St. Wailuku, Maui, HI 97693
  • Oskie Rice Arena (for farm and ranch animals only) — Olinda Rd, Makawao, HI 96768, USA

Maui County has confirmed that emergency shelters do not provide evacuees with bedding and toiletries. Additionally, pet owners are required to properly secure their animals. If you are searching for someone affected by the fires, you can contact the American Red Cross hotline at 1-800-733-2767 for assistance.

Participate in Volunteer Works

Volunteering your time and effort is another impactful way to assist those affected by the Maui wildfire. Various organizations are coordinating volunteer activities that include aiding at temporary shelters, assisting in food and water distribution, and providing emotional support to those impacted by the disaster.

One can also get involved in post-fire recovery efforts such as tree planting initiatives and restoration of damaged public amenities. If you have specific skills, such as construction or counseling, those can be extremely beneficial in the recovery phase. Before volunteering, ensure that you connect with a recognized organization that adheres to safety guidelines to protect all parties involved. Remember, every effort counts and collectively, we can help rebuild the lives and the environment that this wildfire has devastated.

Prevention and Safety Measures

Safety should always be at the forefront in times of wildfires, and there are specific precautions that local residents can take to protect themselves and their property. Taking these steps is a collective responsibility that we all share. Here are some simple but effective tips:

  • Create a Defensible Space: Clear your property of flammable vegetation within a 30-foot radius of your home. This includes dry grass, dead leaves, and overhanging branches, which can act as fuel for wildfires.
  • Develop an Evacuation Plan: Familiarize yourself and your family with all potential exit routes from your home. Establish a pre-designated meeting place should you have to evacuate hastily.
  • Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit: Have a kit ready with essentials like water, non-perishable food, medications, important documents, and clothing.
  • Stay Informed: Keep abreast with the latest updates provided by local authorities and heed their advice promptly.
  • Use N95 Masks: These masks can protect you from inhaling smoke and small particles in the air prevalent during wildfires.
  • Avoid Returning Home Until Deemed Safe: Wait for officials to declare your area safe before returning home. Remember, safety should always take precedence over material possessions.

By adopting these measures, you can significantly reduce the risk and potential impact of wildfires on your home and loved ones.

Even the Smallest Gesture can have a Profound Impact

It’s crucial to remember that each one of us has the power to make a positive impact and help our communities recover in the wake of a disaster like the Maui wildfire. We strongly encourage you to share this information with friends, family, and fellow community members. Whether it’s through social media, email, or word of mouth, your efforts to spread awareness can have a significant effect.

Moreover, consider directly supporting the recovery efforts. Your donations, participation in local cleanup initiatives, and proactive steps toward wildfire prevention are invaluable contributions to the healing and rebuilding of our affected communities. Every action counts, no matter how small it may seem. Now more than ever, your community needs your help and support.