You’ve seen the news and you know about the devastating fires impacting the state of Hawaii, particularly the island of Maui. Details are still coming in, but we know that (at least) 36 people have died, more than 270 homes and businesses have been damaged or destroyed, and this is the deadliest fire in the US in 5 years.
When disasters happen, it’s easy to turn away. We scroll on our phones and say, “Wow, that’s horrible…” and then carry on with our days. We distract ourselves because it’s too overwhelming to think about what’s happening.
Please don’t turn away, because this is a moment when we all need to turn towards our friends in Hawaii and do our part to help. This is an opportunity to be a hero for someone in need.
You may be wondering how to help. Here are 3 steps you can take.
- Give Money
This is the official County of Maui government website. They recommend donating to Maui Strong and Maui United Way. Please give to trusted organizations and avoid fundraising scams which sadly tend to show up during times of crisis.
- Send Supplies
Hawaii News Now (HNN) is a television news service in Hawaii affiliated with CBS and NBC. HNN has a list of different ways you can donate supplies to families in need, including sending supplies to displaced mothers and children. HNN updates this list regularly.
- Provide Housing
If you have extra space in your home, or an Airbnb or VRBO rental property, consider offering it to a Maui family that has lost everything and needs a temporary place to stay while they figure out their next steps.
This is not a complete list but a good place to start.
My company, Hello Seven, has made a donation to relief efforts. I encourage you to do the same. You may not be a millionaire (yet) but give what you can.
At Hello Seven, our mission is to help women, BIPOC, LGBTQIA, and other historically excluded people to build financial security and generational wealth. Around 25% of Hawaii’s population is white folks and 75% is people of color including Native Hawaiian/AAPI. People of color are the most vulnerable during times of crisis due to racist systems and financial inequities in our country. On average, these communities have fewer financial resources compared to white households, which makes it even harder to rebuild your life after a disaster.
We need to stand in solidarity with the people of Hawaii not only with words but with actions and dollars.
The White House has ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts, but we can’t rely on the government alone. We all have to come forward in times of need.
Hawaii holds a special place in my life. I came to Hawaii for a writing retreat when I started working on my first book, and I was awestruck by the beauty of the land and culture. It is a place that is forever imprinted on my heart.
To the people of Hawaii, we are with you. And to our clients based in Hawaii, know that Hello Seven is a safe place to express anger, sadness, and grief, all the emotions you may be feeling. Because we are more than entrepreneurs, we are whole human beings.
Thank you for listening and for contributing what you can.
-Rachel Rodgers and the Hello Seven Team