Aug 21, 2023 - Energy & Environment

What Maui wildfire survivors do and don't need from donors

Volunteers sorting out donated goods in Puunene, Hawaii, on Aug. 14.

Volunteers sorting out donated goods in Puunene, Hawai'i, on Aug. 14. Photo: Yuki Iwamura/AFP via Getty Images

People affected by the devastating Maui wildfires are still in need of donations and supplies — but are overwhelmed by packages and clothing, according to state and local officials.

Driving the news: President Biden and first lady Jill Biden are expected to travel to Maui to meet with survivors on Monday.

  • The fires, which razed the historic town of Lahaina, killed at least 114, though hundreds are still missing as search and recovery efforts continue.

What they need

  • State and local officials said victims need nonperishable food items, water, hand washing stations, water totes, outdoor sinks, portable and stationary charging devices, batteries, wheelchairs and semi-permanent or permanent tents.
  • Officials earlier this month also encouraged cash donations to reputable nonprofit organizations in Hawai'i, saying the volume of donated goods started to overwhelm groups accepting donations.

What they don't need

  • They said clothing was no longer a high-priority need for victims and encouraged people to donate but asked that items be sorted beforehand.

What they're saying: "There has been such an outpour of support, not just from the people of Maui, not just from around the state — but around the world," Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke said last week.

  • "We felt the federal, the state, the county needed a coordinated effort to take in all the goods and inventory that have been donated. We don't want to turn anything away."

The big picture: The Oahu-based non-profit Hawai'i Community Foundation said on Sunday it has received more than $43 million in donations from around 180,000 people in 44 countries, according to Hawaii News Now, a CBS affiliate.

  • The Maui County government said on Sunday that around 1,800 people were being sheltered at six hotels around the island.

Go deeper: Hawai'i wildfires' "downward, spiral-like impacts" on food

Go deeper