In The Know with Gino: Answering the Call to Aid the American Red Cross in Hawaii’s Time of Need

A Makeshift Memorial Hangs On A Tree Overlooking Burned Houses And Buildings In Lahaina

A makeshift memorial hangs on a tree overlooking burned houses and buildings in Lahaina, on the island of Maui, Hawaii, U.S. August 12, 2023. Sandy Hooper/USA Today Network via REUTERS NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. MANDATORY CREDIT

In the wake of the devastating wildfires that have struck Hawaii, a state known for its vibrant traditions and cultural heritage, the heartfelt sympathies of people around the world are directed towards the affected communities. The magnitude of this catastrophe, described as the deadliest wildfire event in the past century, has left thousands of Hawaiians in search of their missing loved ones, grappling with the loss of their cherished homes and possessions.

Initial reports reveal that the ferocious wildfires, driven by climatic changes, have razed approximately 2,200 structures to the ground, predominantly homes that held sentimental value for families. As the flames continue to rage in certain areas, first responders valiantly persist in their search and rescue endeavors, tirelessly working to bring relief and hope to those in need. The affected regions remain closed off until these heroic efforts are completed, prioritizing the safety and well being of the people.

In addition to the physical devastation caused by the fires, residents are now facing the threat of toxic fumes and contaminated water sources, prompting officials to issue crucial warnings. The impact on essential services is stark, with over 4,500 customers still grappling with power outages and intermittent phone service restoration. The limited cell service that exists is urging users to opt for text communication over calls to preserve connectivity.

In these trying times, the American Red Cross has stepped forward as a beacon of support and solace for the affected families. Operating round-the-clock, the Red Cross is providing essential care to families, including shelter, sustenance, and emotional aid. Collaborating closely with local authorities, the organization’s skilled disaster response personnel are managing emergency shelters on both Maui and Oahu, and these facilities are set to evolve into multipurpose service centers to cater to various needs.

The American Red Cross’s commitment to assisting families has been unwavering since the inception of this crisis. Their partnership with Microsoft’s AI for Good Research Lab has expedited the preliminary damage assessment process, leveraging advanced AI models and satellite imagery to assess the extent of destruction.

More than 270 trained Red Cross disaster workers from across the nation are on the ground, joined by a growing number of local residents who have undergone Red Cross volunteer training, exemplifying the solidarity and unity in these trying times.

Yet, as the fires underscore, the global climate crisis continues to intensify, contributing to the severity of extreme weather events. The flames were fueled by a convergence of strong winds and prolonged drought conditions on the islands, emphasizing the urgent need to address the broader issue of climate change. The ongoing heatwave and wildfires act as stark reminders of the escalating impact of climate-related disasters, necessitating an increase in humanitarian efforts, as exemplified by the Red Cross’s tireless endeavors.

In a rallying call to the public, the Red Cross emphasizes the role that every individual can play in helping those affected by disasters. Financial contributions to the Red Cross Disaster Relief fund can aid in preparedness, response, and recovery efforts, offering a lifeline to communities in distress. Contributions of any size are valued, as they collectively hold the power to bring hope and restoration to those whose lives have been upended. Amid the chaos and destruction, unity and compassion shine brightly as beacons of hope for Hawaii’s resilient communities.

To make a meaningful impact, one can choose from several avenues:

  1. Online Donation: Visit the official website of the American Red Cross at Here, individuals can contribute directly to the Disaster Relief fund, knowing that their generosity will be channeled into rebuilding lives and providing essential support.
  2. Phone Contribution: For those who prefer the personal touch, a call to 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) offers a direct link to aiding disaster-stricken communities. The compassionate voices on the other end of the line will guide callers through the process, ensuring that their contributions make a tangible difference.
  3. Text Donation: Simplicity meets impact with the option to text the word “REDCROSS” to 90999. A $10 donation will be swiftly allocated to provide aid, underscoring the notion that even a modest contribution can transform lives.

The American Red Cross is a beacon of hope, demonstrating how united efforts can alleviate suffering, mend broken spirits, and pave the way for brighter tomorrows. The stories of renewal and resilience that will emerge from the ashes will carry within them the echo of every donation, testament to the strength that compassion can wield.

In this chapter of hardship, let us each become a page of the story of recovery, offering our support in whatever form it may take. The people of Hawaii, their way of life forever altered by the inferno, will find solace and inspiration in the outstretched hands of strangers turned allies.

SOURCE: American Red Cross