August 20, 2023 | By Cynthia Young, AATA Executive Director

We all have seen the now horrific images of Maui, a magical place where so many people have visited and others call home. The series of wildfires that broke out earlier this month have caused widespread damage–the worst our nation has experienced.

At least 115 people have been lost, and 850 others are still missing in the town of Lāhainā. More than 11,000 people have been displaced.

On behalf of the AATA Board and National Office staff, I reached out to our AATA members in Hawaii, as well as non-members who we have a relationship with. Their experiences, along with so many others, have been harrowing, and our hearts go our to the many families, communities, and businesses impacted by these fires.

Despite everything they are going through, a few art therapists took the time to put together a list of ways the art therapy community can help. We hope you will consider donating through any one of these organizations.

Organizations Providing Support and Assistance in Maui

University of Hawaii (UHMC) — Feeding Maui

UHMC is preparing thousands of meals a day for Maui residents displaced by the August fires and now living in shelters. Learn more.

Hawaii Community Fund – Maui Strong

The Maui Strong Fund is providing financial resources that can be deployed quickly, with a focus on rapid response and recovery for the devastating wildfires on Maui. Learn more.

Maui Nui Strong

A project of the County of Maui, Maui Nui Strong is collecting donations, supplies, offers of services, and volunteer opportunities, including animal support. Learn more.

‘Aina Momona

Lists ways to give directly to fire relief efforts, including Venmo and GoFundMe links to families directly impacted by the fires as well as some of their stories. Also offers ways to support firefighters and first responders. Learn more.

Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA)

The Kāko‘o Maui Fund is a donation campaign to aid communities impacted by the Maui wildfires. CNHA is seeking support from corporate, philanthropic, and organizational matching funders to incentivize small dollar donations and to support our communities. Learn more.

University of the Nations/Youth with a Mission Ships

They are based in Kona and taking supplies to Maui. Learn more.

In the long term, the art therapists also mentioned that there will be more applicable ways to plug in as mental health professionals, and in the re-building process. In the meantime, they are doing their best to provide free counseling and support wherever they go. We will continue to share any details through the MyAATA community and Art Therapy Today. If you have experiences to share, or opportunities to help, please add it to this thread in MyAATA.


We are also sharing some of the local organizations’ Instagram accounts, and messages below.