This type of post is not our regularly scheduled content, but this type of tragedy (thankfully) is also not prevalent in our daily sports world.
I am kanaka maoli or Native Hawaiian, born and raised and currently residing in Oʻahu. Our community members in various parts of Maui and specifically in historic Lāhainā have lost their lives, homes, businesses, vehicles, pets, jobs, belongings, and more in the calamitous wildfires on Tuesday and Wednesday due to drought conditions combined with high winds from Hurricane Dora.
Lāhainā is an integral location in Native Hawaiian culture as our King Kamehameha I named it the Hawaiian Kingdom’s official capital when he unified the islands in 1802. Several of our chiefs would gather in Lāhainā prior to and in the earlier days of the Kingdom, and many significant political decisions were made in the town prior to the 1840s. Kamehameha III moved the capital to Honolulu in 1845, where it resides today. When a coup of American businessmen infiltrated the Kingdom and our aliʻi (chiefs), kanaka maoli were denied the right to vote in the 1880s, and the coup overthrew our mōʻī wahine (queen) Liliʻuokalani in 1893—imprisoning her in ʻIolani Palace by threatening bloodshed of her people. The United States illegally annexed our Kingdom in 1898.
As of Wednesday night, Hawaiʻi News Now reported at least 36 people died, dozens of people were seriously injured, and over 271 structures were damaged or lost by the fires. With electricity and most phone lines down, folks in Maui and in the other islands haven’t been able to check on their loved ones or call for help.
The need for help at this level hasn’t happened in Hawaiʻi potentially since Hurricane Iniki in 1992. There are thousands of people who need immediate supplies such as food, water, medicine, and more, and others will need longer-term financial resources to even consider a rebuild once the fires are put out. It’s easy to get lost in the mix of where to financially support people in need, so the following are legitimate funds to donate to if you so choose.
Maui is a strong community that will rebuild after such devastation, but any help is extremely appreciated during this unprecedented time. Please feel free to give toward any of the aforementioned funds if you can!