BBF Initiates a Response to Deadly Hawaii Wildfires
The wildfires that swept across the Hawaiian island of Maui on August 8th have become the deadliest wildfire outbreak in the United States in over a century, taking more than 100 lives and leaving over 1,000 others unaccounted for. As first responders, DNA analysts and anthropologists continue to search for and identify the people who remain missing, survivors begin the long and painful road to recovery.
Brother’s Brother Foundation is sending 835 hygiene kits to a facility in Kahului on the island of Maui, where they will be distributed by World Central Kitchen. Assembled by volunteers at BBF’s warehouse in Pittsburgh, each hygiene kit contains the everyday essentials needed in the wake of a disaster, from shampoo and toothbrushes to tissues and feminine hygiene products. An additional shipment with 14 pallets of baby formula donated by Giant Eagle will also be sent to Maui in the coming weeks.
Funding from BBF will support on-the-ground recovery efforts overseen by All Hands and Hearts (AHAH). The organization has been asked by Hawaiʻi Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) to lead the coordination of all volunteer activities on the Island of Maui. AHAH will then work with communities to identify gaps in support for future work efforts while looking ahead to longer-term rebuilding needs. They plan to have people on the ground leading volunteer efforts by Sunday, Aug. 21.
BBF has also given a grant to the Maui Food Bank, which staged food for people arriving at local shelters and continues to mass distribute food, hygiene items, and paper goods at shelters and distribution points throughout Maui. BBF staff are currently communicating with two other local nonprofit organizations about assisting additional needs on the island.
The Maui wildfires occurred as Hurricane Dora, a category 4 storm, was building in the Pacific Ocean. Winds from the storm became fuel for the fires which, in some areas, traveled as fast as one mile every minute. At least 2,200 buildings in West Maui were damaged or destroyed. In Lahaina, a historic town in West Maui home to 13,000 people, nearly every building was reduced to ashes. Thousands of locals will need housing for several weeks. The current damage from the fires is estimated at around $6 billion.
Updates on BBF’s response to the Hawaiʻi wildfires will be posted on our blog. You can also find out the latest information on our social media.
If you would like to donate to BBF’s relief efforts in Hawaiʻi, you can do so here. You can also speak to someone in our office by calling (412) 321-3160.