And boy, do they need it!
I’ve lived just south of Denver, Colorado for over 45 years.
Last year, a community just outside of Boulder went up in flames, fanned by 85mph winds. The fire started in dry grasslands and the winds made it almost instantly uncontrollable.
Over 1,000 homes were destroyed by the fire but, mercifully, there were only 2 fatalities, both older people who just couldn’t get out in time.
This morning we know at least 99 people died in the same sort of firestorm – flames 30 to 50 feet high whipped by hurricane force winds – that destroyed the historically significant town, Lahaina, on Maui, and over 3,000 homes and structures in its path.
Over 1,000 people are still unaccounted for, days after the flames finally burned themselves out.
1,000 mothers, fathers, grandparents, children, entire families may have been burned alive before they could escape.
It feels unreal unless you’re there, surrounded by other stunned survivors staring at the charred remains of their communities.
The scale of the loss Maui faces is almost impossible to truly understand.
The people who survived and who want to stay, to heal physically and spiritually and rebuild, have years of work ahead of them – and then only if we, the unaffected, help.
There are many ways to do that and I hope you will pick the one that speaks to your heart and dig deep.
The Maui Food Bank is already providing aid and they say every dollar donated provides 4 meals.
There are literally thousands of pets, some who need extensive medical treatments, that became separated from their humans in the chaos and the Maui Humane Society has an Amazon Wishlist of items desperately needed right now, from dog and cat foods to crates and pop-up kennels. Of course, you can always donate cash.
Charity Navigator vets organizations so you can be certain your donation is used to help survivors, not to give bonuses to charity CEOs. They have a list of over 20 groups helping Maui right now. Take your pick.
And, of course, you can list organizations helping Maui on your station website and point your listeners there.
I know I’ve asked you to support Ukraine, to help them defend their homes and their freedom from Putin’s War, and I will probably ask again this year because that war is still raging and killing more civilians every day.
But Maui also needs our help right now.
So, once again, I’m going to suggest that you skip one meal out this month and send what that would’ve cost you to help the people of Maui. This article in USA TODAY shows what the average person spends eating out.
If you just donate the average in your state, you will be helping so many fellow humans who have lost everything in the blink of an eye and through no fault of their own.
Helping others in their desperate need is one of the things that makes America great.
Please help right now while it’s top of mind.