Nevada is helping victims of the wildfire in Hawaii

A woman digs through rubble of a home destroyed by a wildfire on Aug. 11, 2023, in Lahaina, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

By Emilia Pablo

August 18, 2023

The wildfire that began on Tuesday, Aug. 8 on Maui, one of Hawaii’s eight main islands, is one of the most catastrophic fires in US history. The death toll rises each day; at the time of this reporting, the death toll has surpassed 100, according to Maui’s Police Chief John Pelletier.

There are about 2,000 burnt homes in the community of Lāhainā, and hundreds of people are still missing.

To help the community recover, several organizations in Nevada are providing help in their own way, whether it be by manpower or other needed services. KNPR reports that a five-person team from Nevada Task Force 1 (NV-TF1) arrived in Hawaii last week to assist with search and recovery efforts.

The American Red Cross of Northern Nevada sent out the first wave of volunteers from across the country heading to Maui, in response to the catastrophic wildfires.

These volunteers included Barbara Kramer, who had just returned to her home in Reno from a deployment in Vermont where she helped with another disaster relief effort.

Kramer has served as a volunteer for 10 years and has been deployed at least 20 times to help those in need.

“During all my deployments, I know that my work, and the work of all the Red Cross volunteers, is going to help make the lives better — of those facing a terrifying disaster,” Kramer said in a press release.

The American Red Cross is collecting donations to help victims with food, emergency shelters and the ability to deploy volunteers and workers to the emergency zone in the town of Lāhainā. They offer several options for donations: You can donate by traditional mail, by sending a check, via phone, or, on the web through your mutual fund, stocks, or wire transfers. The donations can be as little as $10.

The Red Cross will also help victims and families affected by this tragedy with emotional and economic assistance. You can visit the American Red Cross at redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org

Brian Sandoval, the president of the University of Reno (UNR) and the former Nevada governor, is also offering help and sent a condolence message.

The hearts of our entire University community go out to the people of Hawaii and to the students, faculty and staff of our institution who are from Hawaii and who have family or friends who live there,” Sandoval said in a statement.

UNR is also offering counseling, employment and academic advising services for those that need help. A list of services Sandoval mentioned can be found here.

Boyd Gaming has also donated $100,000 in support of the ongoing disaster relief efforts for the wildfire victims.

  • Emilia Pablo

    Emilia Pablo Bazan is The Nevadan, El Nevadense Political Correspondent. She is an alumna from U.C. Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism with over 10 years of experience working in the television news industry. She's also a former speechwriter and press officer for the Obama administration and an Emmy award recipient.

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