The Salvation Army Activates Response to Devasting Hawaii Fires

Aug 11, 2023

Essential aid is being provided as thousands evacuate the island of Maui

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AUG. 11, 2023) – The Salvation Army has launched widespread efforts to provide food and other essential items and services to evacuees in Hawaii. After an unseasonably dry summer and strong winds spurred by Hurricane Dora in the Pacific Ocean, spontaneous wildfires erupted and spread across numerous communities on the Hawaiian island of Maui. The fires have already tragically claimed 36 lives and consumed thousands of acres while displacing more than 11,000 people from their homes. The Salvation Army is actively partnering with local emergency management and leaders, Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, and other nonprofit organizations to serve evacuees and first responders.

“The Salvation Army is committed to assisting those in need during this critical time,” said Commissioner Kenneth G. Hodder, national commander of The Salvation Army. “Our local officers, staff, and volunteers are extending relief and support to people in affected areas, ensuring that no one faces this disaster alone. We will continue to do everything to support these communities now and well after the flames have been extinguished.”

Working alongside other nonprofit disaster relief organizations, Maui County, and other state and local emergency management agencies, The Salvation Army has already provided thousands of meals to individuals and families at the Maui County Pukalani Shelter. This shelter and many others across the island are offering refuge from the wildfires and are a safe haven for people to receive assistance and resources.

Victor Leonardi, Emergency Services and safety director for The Salvation Army’s Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Division, said: “When the fires started Tuesday night, we knew the impact would be substantial. Our buildings in Maui were affected, but that did not prohibit us from serving thousands of meals to our neighbors in need. We will continue to support our community as we assess the damage and prepare for the challenging days ahead.”

The Salvation Army is actively checking on impacted Salvation Army staff, officers, and local community members and offering emotional and spiritual care during these challenging times. Salvation Army team members are closely assessing the ongoing effects of the wildfire and adapting service operations to address changing needs.

In addition to the fires in Hawaii, The Salvation Army is also serving those affected by flooding in Alaska, Tennessee, and Kentucky; severe storms in Washington D.C.; and the heat wave affecting millions of people across the country.

To learn more about The Salvation Army’s disaster relief efforts, click here.

The best way to support ongoing efforts in Hawaii is by making a financial contribution, which allows The Salvation Army to meet immediate and long-term needs. Those who are able to donate can do so by simply:

For media inquiries, please email


About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army annually helps nearly 24 million people in America overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, shelter for the homeless, and rehabilitation services for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,000 centers of operation around the country. During times of disaster, 100% of designated donations to The Salvation Army are used for immediate response and long-term efforts. In 2021, The Salvation Army was ranked No. 2 on the list of “America's Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy. For more information, visit Follow us on X @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.


Recent Stories

Related Content: DisasterSocial ImpactStories of HopeWildfires