More than two months after deadly wildfires devastated Maui, Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) continues to support recovery efforts through a dedicated fundraising drive and close coordination with Catholic Charities Hawai’i.
CCUSA, the official disaster relief arm of the Catholic Church in the United States, launched a national fundraising effort in the immediate aftermath of the fires. Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of concerned individuals, families and foundations, CCUSA has disbursed a total of $1.6 million to Catholic Charities Hawai’i in response to the catastrophic event, which killed nearly 100 residents and displaced thousands.
“Whenever we raise funds following a disaster, 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to our local agencies who are on the front lines providing immediate relief and long-term recovery support to their communities,” CCUSA President and CEO Kerry Alys Robinson said. “We are so grateful to all those who answer the call to support our suffering sisters and brothers when their lives have been immediately and drastically upended.”
In addition to financial support, CCUSA has lent its disaster relief expertise to the recovery in Maui. CCUSA Vice President of Disaster Operations Kim Burgo and her team, who help coordinate responses each year to roughly 70 disasters all around the country, have remained in regular contact with Catholic Charities of Hawai’i, and Burgo spent a week on the ground with the agency. Through a partnership with Airbnb, CCUSA has helped to coordinate temporary housing for individuals and families who were displaced by the wildfires.
Catholic Charities of Hawai’i will continue to play a leading role in the massive, long-term recovery effort facing the Maui community.
“As someone who has personally witnessed the beauty and resilience of the Maui community, we stand in solidarity with all those affected by the devastating impact of the wildfires,” Catholic Charities Hawai’i President & CEO Rob Van Tassell said. “We are humbled by the generous support of our partners at CCUSA and our local diocese, whose assistance has made it possible for us to provide vital aid to those in need. Whether it’s providing housing assistance, access to basic necessities, emotional support and more, we remain committed to working tirelessly to help the Maui community get back on their feet.”