How to help the victims of Maui’s deadly wildfires

Nearly 100 people are confirmed dead in the Maui wildfires, but even more could be missing.

“What we saw was likely the largest natural disaster in Hawaii state history,” Gov. Josh Green told NBC News. He compared it to the 1960 tsunami that killed 61 people, adding that recovery of remains could take weeks.

With damage in the billions of dollars, President Joe Biden ordered additional federal aid that will allow rental assistance and FEMA grants. But more help will likely be needed.

If you’re thinking of helping, be careful before handing your money over. In the aftermath of a disaster, disreputable “charities” often take advantage of people’s eagerness to do something for those impacted. Check with the Federal Trade Commission for tips on how to spot fraud. Charity Navigator and GuideStar are two other organizations that provide information on nonprofit groups and aid agencies.

“We are already seeing various fund-raising efforts being promoted on social media platforms and online,” Hawaii’s attorney general, Anne Lopez, said in a news release Tuesday, via the New York Times. “In moments of crisis, we all must be extra vigilant against bad actors who try to take advantage of people’s good will.”

Here are a few ways you can assist those affected by this devastation:

American Red Cross

According to CBS News, disaster workers with the American Red Cross are in Maui “working around the clock to help those affected.” To donate, visit, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767), or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Hawai’i Community Foundation

Through its Maui Strong Fund, the foundation has already raised $1 million to help victims, Hawaii News Now reported. You can make a donation through the fund’s website. Contact Donor Services at or call 808-566-5560 if you have questions or need more information.

Maui United Way

Maui United Way has set up a Maui Fire and Disaster Relief Donations Page. All donations are processed online.

Maui Food Bank

Maui Food Bank not only helps community members who are hungry, it also donates food to disaster relief efforts. “With every $1 donated, the Maui Food Bank can provide 4 meals to the hungry living in our island community,” the food bank states. To donate, visit the food bank’s website.

Maui Humane Society

Humans aren’t the only ones on the island who need help. In a statement on Facebook, the Maui Humane Society said its shelters were already beyond capacity before the fires. Georgians can’t foster the animals, for logistical reasons, but we can donate supplies through its Amazon wishlist. They will be delivered directly to the location on the island.

With our population over capacity before this tragedy, we are running extremely low on space, supplies and fosters. As...

Posted by Maui Humane Society on Wednesday, August 9, 2023


CityServe, a national and international network of churches providing rapid-response relief to major disasters, is partnering with No Child Hungry. The network is assembling and delivering over 250,000 meals plus other emergency supplies to Kings Cathedral Church Maui, as well as other local churches, to help families in need. Anyone able to contribute to the relief effort can do so at