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Bay Area organizations helping those devastated by the Hawaii wildfires

The devastating wildfire on Hawaii’s Maui Island is being watched closely among people and organizations in the Bay Area with deep ties to the Hawaiian island.

People are wondering how they can help. Now, Maui County is sharing information on sites they support, where donations for those affected by the fire are being accepted online.

“It just happened so quickly and was so devastating that people are in shock they don’t know how to react and mourning,” said Eric Tao.

Tao is a board member with the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce of Northern California. He started getting texts and calls about the wildfires in west Maui almost as soon as they started.

“You know, there are natural disasters in Hawaii we have had hurricanes different types of tropical storms you can prepare for it, no one was prepared for it,” he said.

Tao added that many of the texts and calls have been people asking what can they do to help. Now, his group is working to provide some answers in a fast-moving situation.

“So, we have been calling Hawaii calling our connections calling our contacts and just recently, we have found that one of the relief organizations that we are supporting is the Hawaii community fund, it’s under Maui strong 100% of proceeds go toward the relief effort,” he said.

It’s one of the organizations that Maui County has now encouraged people to look to… if you’re considering making a donation along with the United Way’s Maui fire and disaster relief fund.

“So much destruction the fire has caused. We think of Lahaina as a tourist destination but to Hawaiians, it is a sacred space,” said Mainland Hawaiian community organizer Patrick Landeza. “We feel helpless here on the mainland because we have friends, we have family on Maui. But to continue to keep them in our prayers but most importantly when the time comes to help support.”

Conversations are also starting about putting together a local support event in the Bay Area.

To find ways to donate, visit

Source: NBC Bay Area

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