On Thursday, CityServe International announced the launch of a major disaster-relief effort to aid victims of the deadly wildfires now sweeping across western Maui in Hawaii. Fanned by high winds from Hurricane Dora, the fires have already claimed 36 lives. Officials have declared a state of emergency and thousands have been evacuated.
CityServe, a national and international network of churches providing rapid-response relief to major disasters, is partnering with No Child Hungry. The network is assembling and delivering over 250,000 meals plus other emergency supplies to Kings Cathedral Church Maui, as well as other local churches, to help families in need.
The California-based CityServe resources an extensive church-based network providing food, water, and emergency supplies to families devastated by disaster. The non-profit’s recent disaster-relief campaigns include aiding victims of the tornadoes that ripped through the southern United States earlier this year, as well responding in Southwest Florida last year after Hurricane Ian’s landfall.
“This is when the local church can step up and really shine as a beacon of help and hope,” said CityServe co-founder and CEO Dave Donaldson. “We’ve already activated our contingency plans to get emergency provisions where they’re needed most.”
Over 270 homes have been destroyed in Maui, and the fires are moving so fast news outlets are reporting residents had to dive into the ocean to escape the flames.
“It’s chaos right now,” said Donaldson, “but here’s what residents need to know: Tangible help and hope are on the way.”
The U.S. Coast Guard confirmed Wednesday that it has rescued 14 people – including children – who fled into the Lahaina harbor to escape the wildfire’s intense heat and flames.
Among the worst of the devastation, the 200-year-old Waiola church in Lahaina was seen completely engulfed in fire and couldn’t be saved. One local resident told local news outlets, “To see the church in flames, we just cried.”
Donaldson invited anyone able to contribute to the relief effort to visit www.cityserve.us/mauifires.
CityServe is a collaborative network of churches and community leaders who help those in need live better lives. CityServe empowers the local church to fulfill its purpose to overcome despair and transform lives by resourcing them with tangible goods and capacity building. CityServe brings the church to the table to address community challenges by offering long-lasting relationships that lead to transformation and has been designated a “Community of Faith and Opportunity” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.