The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announces $1 million donation to American Red Cross for Maui

A chapel in Lahaina that was not burned in the fire on Friday, Aug. 17, 2023.

A chapel in Lahaina that was not burned in the fire on Friday, Aug. 17, 2023. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Just two weeks after deadly and destructive wildfires fueled by high winds ripped through the island of Maui, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is providing relief.

Bishop W. Christopher Waddell, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, announced that the Church will donate $1 million to the American Red Cross to help relief efforts after the deadly and devastating wildfires.

The donation will support the Red Cross’ efforts to provide:

  • Shelter to survivors.

  • Meals, bedding, hygiene kits, and other items.

  • Medical, mental health, and family reunification services.

Brad Kieserman, vice president of disaster operations and logistics with the Red Cross, said the donation will help 400 households — meaning 1,200 people.

“The Church of Jesus Christ is a trusted entity. People trust the Church, meaning they will come to the Church for help. We want to be a partner with trusted entities like the Church so we can reach more people and help more people,” Kieserman said.

Bishop Waddell met with representatives of the Red Cross on Sunday, Aug. 20.

Bishop Waddell and local Church leaders spent the weekend meeting with many community organizations providing aid on Maui. They also showed Hawaii Gov. Josh Green the evacuation site and shelter on the grounds of a church meetinghouse in Kahului.

“What you are doing is extraordinary for the people of Maui,” Green said. “We need everyone together. I think this kind of crisis brings people together. The sense of loss is there. There are people feeling desperation. They feel their lives if they weren’t lost in the fire may be lost in other ways. You will lift them up.”

Read the full story on the Church News.

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