Maui Strong Fund Supports 34 Organizations with Boots on the Ground
Micah Kāne, CEO of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, describes how donations are being used to help the needy.
Micah Kāne, CEO of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, says donations to the foundation’s Maui Strong Fund are directly helping families and individuals in crisis.
As of Monday afternoon, almost $4 million was spread among 34 organizations doing relief work on Maui. That includes everything from $100,000 to the Aloha Diaper Bank to $3,500 to a nonprofit called Youth with a Calling that uses volunteers to deliver food and supplies to Lahaina with its boat and will buy tools to help families when they are allowed to return to their homes.
I interviewed Kāne Monday afternoon and then created a summary of some organizations receiving Maui Strong Fund’s money to help people in need.
When people or businesses make a financial donation to the foundation’s Maui Strong Fund, how is the money used?
Kāne: Every dollar is going to meet the essential needs of families affected by the wildfires: food, water, shelter, medicine, care for pets, direct financial assistance.
We’ve allocated just under $4 million over the last 24 hours to 34 different organizations. Our team is meeting twice a day, 7 in the morning, 4:15 in the afternoon, reviewing applications, calling on partners in the community, trying to understand what capacity is so that we can get as many resources to people as quickly as possible. Filling in the holes where government and other support may not be reaching.
What needs are most urgent?
Kāne: The biggest issue right now is many families have lost everything. You have individuals in the shelters that all they have is literally the clothes they’re wearing. Some have no identification – absolutely nothing.
There’s a lot of them: It’s my understanding that the three primary shelters outside the impact zone are serving close to 2,500 individuals. Yet there’s still pockets of need within Lahaina proper.
We’re funding things with a lot of trust behind them – individuals and organizations that are willing to be very nimble, whether it be using their boats to transport people and things of need or whatever is needed. We’re trying to be very flexible in how we support organizations willing to be nimble.
People are wondering: Should I go to the store, buy things and take them to places offering to ship them to Maui? Diapers, toilet paper, whatever, or should I give money to a charity like the Hawai‘i Community Foundation and its Maui Strong Fund? Help people make that decision.
Kāne: I know it feels good to be able to give in kind. But I think right now, it’s really dollars that are needed. It provides organizations the flexibility to work with those families. I think direct contributions to individuals is probably one of the most effective ways that we can get families in a comfortable position.
My recommendation is to find a trusted partner – HCF is one of them but we’re not the only one – and work with that trusted partner. Unfortunately, individuals are trying to take advantage and setting up fraudulent means by which people can contribute. So I ask that people really do their due diligence on who they’re partnering with. Support the ones that are credible and trying to do good work.
I think there’s good movement on the ground, getting resources to people in a timely manner, though there are valid concern about pockets of need not being met. We’re trying to be a part of bringing a solution to that.
You can donate or learn more at the Maui Strong Fund website. Here are some of the organization’s receiving funds from the fund:
- $250,000 for the American Red Cross (Pacific Islands Region), which is operating shelters at the Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center, Maui High School and Maui War Memorial.
- $60,000 for Arc of Maui, which is supporting adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who were forced to relocate to a temporary home in Wailuku.
- $5,000 for Blue Water Rafting, a local boating company partnering with local boat captains to transport supplies from Kīhei Harbor to harbors near Lahaina, and then partner truck drivers deliver goods to families in need.
- $200,000 to Common Ground Collective, a nonprofit helping prepare meals and feed people at the Red Cross shelters because the Salvation Army lost its kitchen in the fire. The collective’s partners include UH Maui College, Chef Hui, the Salvation Army and World Central Kitchen.
- $10,000 for a Cup of Cold Water, a community car and van outreach program formed by local churches and temples that provides unsheltered people with water, food, clothes, hygiene items and other essentials.
- $250,000 for the Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Center, which lost a 48-unit homeless shelter and 30 rental units in the fire, displacing 50 households. The organization is finding housing for them.
- $250,000 for Hale Mākua Health Services, a major healthcare provider.
- $100,000 for Hawai‘i Animal Rescue Foundation.
- $100,000 for Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Hawaiʻi.
- $25,000 for Nā Ho‘aloha-Maui Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers, who provide services for older adults and those with disabilities.
- $10,000 for Hoʻopili Farmers Association, which is shipping food from farmers, fishers and hunters on Moloka‘i to Maui.
- $95,000 to Hospice Maui.
- $75,000 for medical provider Hui No Ke Ola Pono.
- $250,000 for Imua Family Services.
- $250,000 for King’s Cathedral and Chapels, which has been sheltering 200 individuals since the crisis, and anticipates serving 200 to 400 more at its primary campus in Kahului.
- $5,000 for Leilani Farm Sanctuary, a farm in Haʻikū providing food, shelter, and veterinary care for rescued animals.
- $10,000 for Maui AIDS Foundation.
- $250,000 for Maui Food Bank.
- $75,000 for Maui Hui Mālama, which provides support for displaced families.
- $250,000 for Maui Humane Society.
- $100,000 for Mālama Maui Nui, which is now making daily supply runs to deliver water, food, first aid, healthcare and social services to people in Lahaina. The next phase of it work will be using heavy-duty vehicles and equipment, volunteers and supplies to help with waste and debris removal in coordination with government officials.
- $250,000 for Mauliola Pharmacy, in partnership with Imua Family Services, which is providing medicine to people affected by the wildfires.
- $150,000 for Pacific Birth Collective, which is establishing a mobile unit to provide care for pregnant, birthing, and postpartum families. Staff have been using their own vehicles.
- $100,000 for Regenerative Education Center, which has 25 acres of farmland on the edge of Lahaina that was spared from the fires. It is using the space as a staging area and preparing for its long-term use by 200 displaced residents.
- $250,000 for the Salvation Army (Hawaiian Islands and Pacific).