When catastrophic wildfires forced Maui residents from their longtime homes and into an unknown future in early August, Maui United Way’s small yet mighty local staff immediately transitioned to around-the-clock disaster response, leveraging our 75 years of community service on Maui. We are working to meet the needs via fast-tracked grant approvals to existing grassroots organizations that are local and focused on basic needs. All of our work is guided by a deep desire to increase equity and decrease long-standing disparities for communities, including the AAPI populations, especially Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations. And 100% of the donations to Maui United Way stay in Hawaii.
Here are some results so far:
Emergency Financial Assistance for Adults in the Impacted Fire Zones: Maui United Way launched a one-time $1,000 financial assistance payment program for adult fire survivors living in the impacted fire zones in Lahaina and Kula, limited to $5,000 per household, as long as funds allow. Giving families the ability to choose what they purchase is empowering – they know what they need.
Maui United Way has approved grants to nonprofit partners offering direct relief to impacted families including:
- Locally grown food provided by Maui’s farmers
- Transportation for those who have had their vehicles destroyed
- Mortgage and insurance assistance
- Help replacing identification lost in the fires
- Crisis counseling
- Childcare services and health care, including from Native Hawaiian practitioners
As the community moves beyond initial emergency response, MUW will engage with the community to ensure our work takes a survivor-centered approach that creates a stronger, more resilient Maui.
To make a donation to the Maui United Way's Maui Fire and Disaster Relief, click here.
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Lahaina and Kula residents who have been impacted by the August fires are invited to talk story with Mayor Richard Bissen. There are several dates to choose from. Each talk story session will welcome up to 30 residents to give folks a chance to share mana‘o and ask questions.
Series of events from December 9 through January 27.