The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is teaming up with Adventist Health and Adventist Community Services (ACS) to assist communities on the island of Maui, Hawaii, United States, in their recovery. The global humanitarian organization is donating more than US$100,000 in goods and cash to help ACS and Adventist Health respond to deadly wildfires.
At least 114 residents, including some children, died as a result of the Maui wildfires that swept through the island on August 8, and the toll is rising. Thousands more people have been forced to flee their homes or are still missing. Authorities suspect that a malfunctioning electrical system and wind gusts from Category 4 Hurricane Dora may have started the fires. According to local officials, more than 2,000 houses and residential villages, as well as a significant portion of the island’s west side, including Lahaina, the coastal community that formerly served as the capital of the Hawaiian kingdom, were destroyed by the blaze. (Numbers are subject to change daily.)
“We are deeply saddened by this terrible catastrophe and praying for the families and individuals who lost loved ones, homes, and their means of support,” Imad Madanat, vice president of programs for ADRA International, said. “As the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s international arm for humanitarian work, ADRA is committed to partnering with and supporting Adventist Community Services and Adventist Health as they continue to assist with ongoing recovery efforts and offer emergency aid, relief, and care to the people of Maui.”
ADRA will assist Adventist Health Global Missions Systems to meet the urgent needs of medical professionals who are also grappling with their own losses in the tragedy. The global humanitarian organization is funding the purchase of essential laptops to assist health-care personnel mobilize and give the community access to urgent medical care.
“In the midst of this crisis, health-care professionals are attempting to find ways to provide emergency care to hundreds of patients who are in pain and, in some cases, don’t have access to medication for chronic illnesses. Resources to provide mobile computer devices through partnerships with organizations like ADRA are critical to assisting medical staff on the ground to manage care as the island recovers from this tragedy,” John Schroer, Adventist Health Global Missions Systems lead, said.
ADRA is also donating to Adventist Community Services (ACS) more than 46 pallets of emergency supplies such as fire-retardant, weatherproof tents that can be used as temporary shelters and for storing goods and medical provisions, as well as thousands of tarps, toolkits for building shelters, and solar-powered lamps, to support its recovery operation in Lahaina.
“ADRA has offered supplies that can be used for distribution in Hawaii. We have agreed to receive tents, shelter kits, and solar lights. These items will be used to support our operation and given to those in need in the affected area,” W. Derrick Lea, North American Division community services director, said. “We’re excited about the opportunity to partner with our friends at ADRA as we have done previously, such as during Hurricane Harvey efforts a few years ago.”
The agency will deploy the supplies to Hawaii with the assistance of Airlink, the humanitarian organization’s disaster relief airlift and logistical partner. When the supplies arrive in Maui, Adventist church volunteers are expected to help distribute them to affected communities.