How Brands & Nonprofits Are Responding To Maui Wildfires
Growing up, the distant hum of wildfire helicopters and crackling updates from dispatch radios were the rhythms of normalcy in my world during summer. My then-boyfriend, now husband, was a wildland firefighter for six years. His dad, a career firefighter, had ascended the ranks to become the head of wildland fire operations. Fire radios, bearing messages from engines, helicopters and dispatch teams, held a permanent place on their kitchen island during fire season. Even while “off duty,” wildfire updates from radios joined us for family dinners.
Yet, my familiarity with fire’s presence did little to lessen the impact of our current reality – one that is both sobering and terrifying. Amid the devastation of the Maui wildfires, an inspiring surge of compassion and solidarity has emerged, transcending geographic boundaries and reminding us of the strength that occurs when corporate social impact leaders jump into action. Organizations have stepped up across the board to lend support. Here’s how they’re responding:
The Starbucks Foundation is providing a total of $100,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations providing support to those in need, including the American Red Cross, the Hawaii Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund and the Maui Food Bank.
Spam (a staple in Hawaii) and its parent company, Hormel Foods, is sending 265,000 cans of food to Maui in partnership with Convoy of Hope. The brand is also selling T-shirts that read “SPAM Brand Loves Maui,” with 100% of the proceeds going to the Aloha United Way.
Amazon web services activated its Disaster Response team to help set up temporary communications infrastructure to provide internet and phone connectivity in partnership with the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center. The retailer is also donating and shipping 3,400 items, including tents, solar lights, and hygiene kits, to Feeding America and sending 20,000 utensil kits from Operation BBQ Relief.
Uber announced a variety of initiatives to provide support, including a $500,000 donation and a $500,000 match to the Maui Strong Fund. The brand also previously offered free rides for fire evacuees and volunteers.
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation committed $400,000 to support local organizations leading relief efforts on Maui.
Sketchers will donate $250,000 to the Maui Strong Fund and is working to donate 20,000 pairs of shoes to those affected by the fires.
Hawaiian Electric Industries will donate $100,000 to support relief efforts, including $50,000 to Maui United Way and $50,000 to the Maui Strong Fund.
L&L Hawaiian BBQ will donate one dollar for every order made through its official L&L Hawaiian Barbecue mobile app and website orders, up to $10,000. Contributions to the Oahu, Hawaii-based chain will be donated to the American Red Cross of Hawaii to provide shelter and comfort to thousands of fire evacuees.
Wells Fargo committed $100,000 to Homestead Community Development Corporation (HCDC). The mission of the HCDC is to develop affordable housing and economic opportunities on or near the trust lands of the native Hawaiian people, known as homesteads or Hawaiian Home Lands.
Dole Food Company and its Oahu-based subsidiary Dole Fruit Hawaii are donating $50,000 to the American Red Cross in Hawaii and $50,000 to the Maui Food Bank.
Fresh Clean Threads is selling a shirt for $5, which it will then donate to those affected by the Maui fires.
Alaska Airlines is offering travelers 40% off their next flight to Maui until October 18 so they can support local businesses like Haku Maui, L&L Hawaiian Barbecue Honokōwai and more.
TravisMathew, in partnership with Chriss Pratt, will donate 100% of profits from its highly anticipated end-of-summer sale on September 1 to the Maui Strong Fund. The brand’s pledge of a minimum contribution of $250,000.
The Maui Stong Fund, Maui Food Bank, American Red Cross and more nonprofits are involved in a variety of the brand responses mentioned above. In addition, many nonprofits are carrying out their own critical support work.
The Red Cross and more than 320 trained Red Cross disaster workers are working with the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HIEMA) to move displaced residents to hotels. The nonprofit and the county government have provided more than 5,300 overnight shelter stays in 16 emergency shelters on Maui and Oahu, and more than 32,600 meals and snacks to people in need.
Operation Blessing is on the ground in Lahaina, equipping a network of churches and other partners in affected areas to help those in greatest need.
Project DYNAMO and Team Rubicon are among the Veteran-led organizations with crews on-site in Hawaii. Project DYNAMO is assisting with helicopter evacuations, and Team Rubicon is supporting with logistics, donation management, crowd management and traffic control.
Salvation Army is providing mass feeding for thousands at Maui shelters.
Direct Relief is actively addressing the pressing medical needs of evacuees and aiding search and rescue operations. The organization has also made available its medical inventory, valued at over $300 million wholesale, to healthcare providers across Hawai’i.
Good360 is working in coordination with the Hawai’i Office of Emergency Management, FEMA Region IX, and Hawaii VOAD and its member agencies to support donation management coordination virtually, groundtruth product need gaps, and amplify local messaging.
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