Donating to Maui fire survivors? Cash is more useful than clothes


Susan Shimizu of Fountain Valley sorts through bags of donated clothes outside of Aunty Maile’s Hawaiian Kitchen in Torrance. The donations will be sent to those displaced by the fire that wiped out most of the historic town of Lahaina on Maui, where Shimizu’s family lost a family home. Photo by Susan Valot.

Here are places you can donate money to help the those displaced by the Lahaina firestorm:

This week, donors who dropped off supplies at Aunty Maile’s Hawaiian Restaurant in Torrance and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) hall in Wilmington filled at least 13 shipping containers for survivors in the fire-decimated town of Lahaina on the island of Maui. 

Kai Tsukiyama, the owner of Aunty Maile’s Hawaiian Restaurant, says he’s been humbled by the support, but is asking people not to collect any more. The restaurant will accept what people already have collected until 8 p.m. on August 16, but they have to put the donations into storage so they don’t overwhelm volunteers in Maui.

Tsukiyama and others are also organizing a benefit event September 3 at the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute. Expect food from local restaurants, music, and hula dancing. All proceeds will go to an organization supporting those who lost their homes in the Lahaina fire. The restaurant plans to post more information as it becomes available on its website and Instagram page.