HomeTop StoriesHow to help or donate in response to the deadly Maui wildfire

How to help or donate in response to the deadly Maui wildfire

While rescue and emergency operations continued at 8 p.m. Thursday the deadly wildfires that raged across the Hawaiian island of Mauimany people are already looking for ways to support the response and provide relief to those affected.

The full extent of the damage and recovery needs may not be known for another week, said Regine Webster, vice president of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, urging people to be patient before deciding where to turn for support. to give.

“You literally have to wait for the firefighters to complete their work before that damage assessment can be fully realized,” she said.

READ ALSO: Bay Area family trapped in Maui as wildfires prompt evacuations and impact flights

Philanthropy experts recommend giving to experienced organizations that are well placed to respond to a specific disaster. Major disaster relief organizations such as the American Red Cross have said they are already communicating with local and federal governments to provide assistance.

See also  House approves bipartisan action against Iran after death of Mahsa Amini missile program

Webster also urged potential donors to support organizations with deep local ties and knowledge of affected communities.

“As far as we can all slow down, wait a week, wait two weeks, to understand where the greatest needs are, and then look at organizations that really meet those needs, re-prioritize organizations with specific disaster expertise and organizations that are local nature,” said Webster.

READ ALSO: San Francisco Mayor London Breed among visitors evacuated from Maui due to deadly wildfires

The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement pledged to match donations — initially up to $100,000, then increased to $250,000, then $1 million — for a campaign they began Wednesday, with initial support from the Alaka’ina Foundation Family of Companies. An online tracker shows that more than $331,000 has been given by nearly 2,500 people as of Thursday.

The crowdfunding site, GoFundMe, has been vetting fundraisers for individuals and families who lost property or were injured in the fires. That means they’ve taken steps to verify the identity of the organizer and have collected those campaigns on a hub on their website. GoFundMe will perform additional verification steps before releasing funds to the organizer, as well as deduct transaction fees.

See also  Powerball jackpot rises to $875 million after no winners in Wednesday's draw

Direct donations to individuals or families can be a powerful way to make an impact, but potential donors should exercise caution when responding to social media calls for donations to individuals, via electronic payment apps like Venmo or Cash App, experts say.

Potential donors should also consider whether it is important to them to claim tax benefits for their donation. Only tax-exempt nonprofits provide a receipt that people itemizing their taxes can use to claim a deduction.

The Hawaii Community Foundation also announced $1 million in support for its Maui Strong Fund. It is working with other nonprofits and the county mayor to use that money to pay for food, shelter and financial aid, the foundation said in a statement, adding that it also accepts donations and would not collect fees for donations to the fund.

In addition, the Maui United Way has also started a fundraiser for wildfire disasters.

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy will work closely with the foundation, Webster said, as it launches a fund specific to the Hawaii wildfires that prioritize equity in recovery.

See also  Deputies shoot dead man suspected of murdering store owner he discredited for displaying Pride flag

“We will actually wait several months before we understand the full set of needs that exist on Maui and other islands that are also experiencing wildfires,” she said. “And we won’t invest our money until we understand what those medium- and long-term needs are.”

- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments