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Red Cross Responds To Hawaii Wildfires
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The American Red Cross is on the ground in Hawaii, working around the clock to help those affected by the wildfires that caused significant damage and loss of life in the western Maui town of Lahaina. Trained Red Cross disaster workers responded immediately, opening shelters across Maui to provide refuge for thousands of residents and tourists who have been displaced by the fires.

Among those Red Cross personnel on the ground supporting those affected are 15 responders from the Northern California Coastal Region, and more local volunteers remain on standby.

“We’re doing what we do best: helping people in their time of need,” said Hanna Malak, CEO of the Northern California Coastal Region of the Red Cross. “This has already been a difficult response and will continue for some time, but I couldn’t be more proud to have our team on the ground there. We’re no strangers to disasters here in California, especially wildfires, so we have a lot of knowledge and experience that will be applied in Hawaii. It’s tough work, but it’s also a privilege to be a Red Crosser.”

Working with officials and disaster partners, Red Cross teams are providing evacuees with a safe place to stay, food to eat and emotional support, while also preparing to expand relief efforts if needed. More help is on the way as disaster teams deploy from the other Hawaiian Islands and across the country.

“My heart and soul are with the people of Maui. The unimaginable devastation tallied in lives, and property is beyond horrific,” said Megan Erk, a long-time Red Cross volunteer, and Board Member of the Central Coast Chapter. “My family has deep connections with West Maui. We lived in Lahaina part-time for many years. The waters off Maui were where our son Aleks learned to swim, and snorkel. The historic church in Lahaina where Aleks and thousands of other keiki (children) first danced the hula has been reduced to ashes. Everything is just gone. On this deployment, I have the honor to serve as Assistant Director of External Relations. Please know that the entire team working on this response will lean in with everything we have to fulfill the mission of the American Red Cross. It is what we do, and who we are.”

For those that would like to help, Red Cross officials said donations are welcome.

The first priority is to provide shelter and support to those affected — and financial donations are the quickest and best way to help those who need it most. Visit, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767), or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. The Red Cross is unable to accept in-kind donations of food, clothing or other items from community-organized collections due to the logistical constraints that are often associated with the acceptance of them. Your financial donation to the Red Cross helps provide shelter, meals, relief supplies, emotional support, recovery planning and other assistance during disasters.

For more information, visit or, or visit them on Twitter at @RedCross.