The impact of the Maui wildfires continues to grow, and Montanans are showing 'aloha’ by donating money for supplies to send back to Maui.
Tia Walls was born and raised in Great Falls, but she and her husband Zeb have lived on Maui for 17 years. They were here visiting in Great Falls when three days into their trip they heard the news of the wildfires back home.
Determined to find a way to help their Maui community from Montana, they posted on Facebook a request for anyone to donate money for them to buy necessary supplies to take back with them to Maui.
After a few days, they had received more than $4,000 in donations through Venmo, and they knew the supplies were here in Montana, not Maui, so this would be the best and quickest way to help.
“Just things that, you know, small things that people need for day to day living that they are completely running out of over there,” said Zeb. “The shelves are barren in most of the stores so we're just taking whatever we can.”
They have so far used the donation money to buy diapers, baby and alcohol wipes, sanitary products, insulin needles, other medications, and more.
Additionally, North40 donated 23 headlamps and plenty of batteries, and Alaska Airlines waived the additional heavy baggage fees, which would have been about $300 more.
“I just think it's a real grassroots effort and that's just what Hawaii is about,” said Tia Walls. “It's just about people really coming together, showing a lot of aloha and we're just happy to be a part of that.”
The Walls will continue to accept donations through Venmo @tiawalls808, or contact Tia directly at 808-268-1626.
Other ways to help those in Maui are by donating to the following organizations that are providing direct support on Maui:
- The Maui Strong Fund (Hawaii Community Foundation)
- Hawaii Red Cross
- Maui Rapid Response
- Maui Humane Society
- New Life Kahuku Inc.
- The Wildlife Relief Fund
The Wild Hare bar in downtown Great Falls is also working to help people in Maui; click here for details.