Maui Fire Disaster Relief

Thanks to Our Donors, Maui United Way’s Fire Response Is Making a Difference for Impacted Families

When catastrophic wildfires forced Maui residents from their longtime homes and into an unknown future, Maui United Way’s staff immediately transitioned to around-the-clock disaster response, leveraging our 75 years of community service on Maui.

Thanks to Maui United Way’s trusted network of local community nonprofits and the generous giving from local kamaʻaina and people around the world, our Maui Fire Disaster Relief Fund has allowed us to fast-track funds and make a difference for Maui’s fire survivors every day. Together, we have achieved significant milestones:

  • Emergency Financial Assistance: Immediately after the fires, distributed more than $7.8 million in direct cash payments of $1,000 to nearly 8,000 fire-impacted individuals.
  • Grants to Grassroots Organizations: Provided more than $500,000 in grants to 44 local grassroots organizations for immediate post-disaster support.
  • Lahaina temporary school playground: Maui United Way helped fund the playground’s construction. 
  • Tools for School Drive: Provided school supplies for 410 keiki, ensuring they have the resources needed for their education.
  • Holiday Toy Drive: Delivered gifts to 1,994 keiki, spreading joy and creating lasting memories during the festive season.

Your support has been instrumental in making these initiatives possible. We express our deepest appreciation for your commitment to the well-being of our community and your trust in Maui United Way. As we continue our journey, we invite you to consider sustaining your support for the betterment of Maui County.

MUW is working in close collaboration with state and county leaders, nonprofit organizations, and community members to get an understanding of unmet needs. With equity at the core of our work, we want to ensure every person has what they need to rebuild their lives.

We are turning our attention to four areas of greatest need:

  1. keiki and young adults
  2. mental health
  3. stable housing
  4. job training, education, and employment

Maui United Way’s local providers help to feed thousands of survivors with fresh produce and proteins from local growers and suppliers. With support from us and other organizations, Common Ground Collective has been providing between 8,000 to 10,000 meals daily, and Salvation Army-Maui Corps is working with partners to prepare more than 2,000 meals per day.

After losing their homeless shelter in Lahaina, Maui United Way funds are helping Ka Hale A Ke Ola to shelter 70 adults and 38 children with clothing, household necessities, food, bus passes and more.

Maui Family Support Services’ Early Head Start building was destroyed in the fires, and MFSS is now using Maui United Way funds to relocate students and to provide tuition for children to learn at a new location. Additionally, they are providing gas cards to provide transportation between school and work, and to provide household essentials.

Na Keiki O Emalia is helping grieving children by providing services, books, toys and a child-friendly drop-in space, and will provide education and resources on helping children with grief. Pacific Birth Collective is providing Lomi & La’au Lapa'au services offered by cultural practitioners in Honokowai, which has become a hub for women, babies, and families affected by the fire.

The human toll of the wildfires is almost unimaginable. Survivors need help with the trauma they’ve endured, and our partners are providing crisis counseling for survivors as well as first responders. The J Walter Cameron Center is hosting a group of therapists and counselors at a central location to assist in this need. Spirit Horse Ranch is making Trauma Informed Equine Therapy available in addition to other services.

Our island is diverse, and trust is an essential part of healing. Our fund supports Hui No Ke Ola Pono’s Native Hawaiian practitioners as they provide medical outreach, supplies, medicine, radios, batteries, and other essentials to impacted families who need medical assistance.

Some of Maui’s residents with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities live in group homes and were evacuated during the fires. We’re supporting ARC of Maui County’s 24/7 work to house disabled residents in a safe and clean environment and provide meals until they can return to their Lahaina group home.

The fires have left hundreds of cats, dogs, rabbits, horses and other pets and livestock injured or displaced. Our partners at the Hawaii Animal Rescue Foundation are providing food, medical supplies, veterinary care, and housing for these impacted animals.

Na Hoaloha-Maui Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers, is using your donation to provide transportation to essential services such as dialysis, chemotherapy, other doctors’ visits, grocery shopping and pharmacy pick-up for fire survivors who lost their vehicles, as well as checking in on older adults who don’t have transportation of their own.

Hale Mahaolu is helping those who have lost their homes, navigate complex insurance and mortgage payment forbearance processes. Habitat for Humanity Maui is assisting fire survivors who have lost their homes and are being charged late fees on their mortgages on homes that have been lost in the fires. 

Survivors need identification in order to prove eligibility and access the housing, health care, child care, and other services intended for them. Our partners, including Maui Economic Opportunity, are helping families replace documents lost during the fires such as IDs, drivers’ licenses and passports.

Emergency Financial Assistance for Adults in the Impacted Fire Zones: Just 10 days after the deadly fires in Lahaina, 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. To date, $7.8 million has been paid to over 7,800 fire survivors as the program nears completion.

Giving families the ability to choose what they purchase is empowering. Because Maui is one of the most culturally diverse places in the country, comfort food means different things to different people. 



Funded 22 local Nonprofits Focusing Relief Efforts on Unmet Needs

After conducting a needs assessment, Maui United Way awarded grants in four critical focus areas: 1) Keiki and young adults, 2) Mental health, 3) Stable housing, and 4) Job training, education, and employment.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui, Keiki Hub - $10,000.00

The mission at Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawai‘i is to build and support one-to-one relationships for Hawaii’s youth. The Keiki Hub was established by BBBSM to provide a safe place and meaningful experiences for youth residing at Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Center (KHAKO). BBBSM staff, interns and volunteers meet with youth at the Keiki Hub to provide consistency and be positive role models. The mentoring friendships will help them to become the best versions of themselves and embrace higher aspirations and hope for the future.

Hui No'eau, Maui Fire Relief - $10,000.00

Hui No‘eau’s programs support the creative growth and well-being of over 20,000 people, including more than 6,000 keiki annually. Hui No‘eau’s Art with Heart Program provides uplifting arts enrichment activities for children ages 0-18 who were directly impacted by the fires.

Lahaina Arts Guild, We Make Art Happen! - $10,000.00

Lahaina Arts Guild's 'We Make Art Happen!' program is comprised of indoor art instruction, outdoor PaintOut painting, and two Summer Camps for the children. Painting, drawing, and other mediums are all taught by their experienced teachers, usually with the home room teacher present so lessons can be folded into other classroom cultural and scientific projects. They integrate Hawaiian history and cultural talk story whenever possible.

Maui Prepatory Academy, Maui Prep Disaster Relief - $10,000.00

Maui Prep has welcomed over 140 displaced students from the affected Lahaina schools into their school. Their goal is to keep Lahaina students in Lahaina. Allowing a child to attend Maui Prep gives them the opportunity to choose the course of their development, attend the college of their choice, and give back to their community.

Na Keiki O Emalia, Keiki Care and Grief Relief - $10,000.00

Na Keiki O Emalia offers grief support to keiki who have experienced the death of someone important to them and offers training and support to parents who are accompanying their keiki on their grief journey. Through the grant from Maui United Way, Na Keiki O Emalia will open a space on the Westside to conduct community grief support groups for children and their families who are grieving from the wildfire disaster. 

Pacific Birth Collective, Maui Fire Relief for Mothers, Babies, and 'Ohana - $10,000.00

The "Maui Fire Relief for Mothers, Babies & `Ohana" program is a vital response to the Maui wildfires' impact on pregnant and postpartum individuals, families, and households. This program aims to enhance maternal and infant health outcomes through comprehensive prenatal and postpartum education, as well as access to essential supplies. By promoting birth equity, it ensures that all affected individuals have access to maternal and family support services, contributing to community resilience and well-being in the wildfire's aftermath.

Pacific Whale Foundation, Support for Keiki after the devastating fires in August - $10,000.00

Pacific Whale Foundation’s Ocean Camp provides an immersive study experience focused on the marine ecosystem, and gives children a moment of reprieve and relief from the stresses caused by the fires. Ocean Camp, which brings campers “eye to fin” with marine animals, is led by in-house education experts, and offers ocean-based experiences on ecotour vessels through PacWhale Eco Adventures.

The Lahaina Dojo of the HONOLULU KI SOCIETY, Lahaina Ki Aikido Replacement Equipment and Supplies - $10,000.00

The Lahaina Ki Aikido was started in the late 1950s in the Lahaina Hongwanji Mission and is open to everyone in Lahaina. Prior to the August 8th fire, keiki made up over 90% of our students. The Lahaina Hongwanji Mission was lost in the fire, including the Lahaina Ki Aikido training space and all of their equipment. Through training, they work with students to develop strong character and good habits in every aspect of their lives.

Underdog Foundation, Gorilla Athletes - $10,000.00

Gorilla Athletes is a beacon of hope and stability for youth aged 8-18 affected by the Lahaina and Kula wildfires, providing a secure environment to regain normalcy through quality athletic training and peer interaction. Led by Jojo Dickson, a former NFL player with extensive experience in strength and conditioning, the program focuses on holistic development, enhancing athletic performance, fostering community, and facilitating educational advancement.

Vernon Patao Mission, Maui Wildfire support for youth athletes - $10,000.00

This program provides access to strength and agility training to the keiki affected by the disastrous wildfires in Lahaina. By funding this program, they can offer them the opportunity to engage in a positive and empowering activity that promotes their physical and mental well-being.

Village of Hope Maui, Fire Relief Journey Bags - $10,000.00

Village of Hope Maui is providing every displaced person, regardless of age, gender, and ethnicity, a Journey Bag full of essential goods to aid and encourage them in the aftermath of the Maui Wildfires.

Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of Maui, Mental Health - $10,000.00

Friends focuses on the lack of specialized therapeutic resources available to the children suffering from trauma. The Friends addresses the most urgent needs of our children, including consistency of therapeutic care.

Haku Baldwin Center, Equine Resilience Program for Maui First Responders - $10,000.00

Haku Baldwin Center is a nonprofit organization operating from Maui's premier equestrian facility, providing equine-assisted services to fire impacted families and individuals, first responders, and military veterans. Current programming includes therapeutic/adaptive riding, equine-assisted learning, and equine-assisted psychotherapy. The benefits are countless, with survey data showing remarkable improvements in the physical, cognitive and/or emotional health and well-being of program participants.

Mental Health Kokua (Maui), Residential and Psycho-social Rehabilitation Services - $10,000.00

Mental Health Kokua offers homeless stabilization housing for adults diagnosed with serious mental illness, adding four psychiatric stabilization beds in Wailuku for homeless adults while triaging supportive housing.

Parents And Children Together, Maui - $10,000.00

PACT offers comprehensive wellness checks and support to those affected by the devastating fires in Maui. They prioritize families directly impacted by the fires, with special attention to caregivers with children, single-parent households, low-income families, children with health challenges, and those with limited support networks, offering custom tailored solutions to meet mental and physical health needs.

Players Philanthropy Fund, The Spirit Horse Ranch - $10,000.00

Spirit Horse Ranch provides trauma-informed care through equine therapy services. Since August 11, the organization has provided free equine therapy sessions with its 15 horses to more than 150 people, including first responders and others impacted by the fires.

Habitat For Humanity Maui, Inc., Staff preparation/Onboarding/Technology - $10,000.00

The "Habitat Maui Disaster Preparedness and Rebuilding Initiative" is a program that not only addresses critical disaster response needs but also highlights its unique focus on underserved populations. Funds will significantly increase staff capacity, enhance technical infrastructure, and prioritize safety training.

Hale Mahaolu, Homeownership & Housing Counseling Program - $10,000.00

Hale Mahaolu's mission is to create and manage vibrant, quality, affordable rental communities and provide supportive programs and services for seniors, families and individuals. They provide self-paced and virtual homebuyer education classes and individualized counseling sessions focusing on foreclosure, pre/post-purchase, non-delinquency, and financial literacy.

Na Hale O Maui, Stable Housing for Lahaina families - $10,000.00

The Maui United Way grant may be modest in size, especially when divided between 15 families, & represents a beacon of hope for the affected families as they work to rebuild their lives and homes. The community’s commitment to providing emergency assistance, including temporary housing and essential supplies, is crucial in helping our families get back on their feet. Collaboration with other nonprofit organizations, for-profit entities, and government agencies is the smart & effective way to addressing the diverse needs of the community. By working together, we will leverage resources, expertise, and networks to provide comprehensive support to the Maui 'ohana and facilitate a faster recovery process. It's reassuring to witness the commitment to our families that can make a real difference in their lives. The heartfelt outpouring of community support & resilience is both tested and strengthened in times of adversity when organizations and individuals come together to support one another. We truly appreciate the efforts and support of Maui United Way to help these families rebuild their lives & thrive once again.

J WALTER CAMERON CENTER, Cameron Center Laptop Relief Program - $10,000.00

The Maui Laptop Relief Program is dedicated to bridging the digital divide for disaster survivors. This program focuses on providing refurbished laptops to individuals and families who have been displaced or affected by the wildfires. The Maui Laptop Relief Program represents a critical response to a community in need, striving to empower survivors, promote economic stability, and reduce the digital divide created by the wildfires.

KA LIMA O MAUI LTD, Employment services - $10,000.00

Ka Lima O Maui funds will provide services to persons with disabilities in Maui County, which include career education, supported employment, job placement in the community, personal development training, recreation, and community integration. Ka Lima O Maui programs have a profound positive impact on clients’ lives daily, providing an opportunity for adults with a disability to earn income. Additionally, disabled workers whom are employed tend to need far fewer community services than those who are not, freeing up funds to meet other needs.

Maui Family Support Services, Inc., Quality Care for Hawaiian Keiki - $10,000.00

Maui Family Support Services supports parents in seeking and maintaining employment, job training, or education by providing childcare subsidy assistance for parents. Subsidy assistance will be used to cover childcare tuition costs in full or in part at licensed childcare providers for children ages zero to five years old.