Residents in need of information and assistance referrals are encouraged to call, text or chat Aloha United Way 211
HONOLULU — To support individuals and families devastated by Maui’s catastrophic fires, Aloha United Way has established a Maui Fire Relief Fund on its website, AUW.org. 100% of proceeds are directed to Maui United Way whose partner agencies, such as Maui Food Bank, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, are distributing relief funds according to the community’s most urgent needs.
“We want the people of Maui to know that they are not alone in the recovery journey ahead,” said John Fink, president and CEO of Aloha United Way. “Aloha United Way is actively coordinating efforts with Maui United Way to provide immediate relief to those affected by the fires, and we encourage those who can offer support to join us by making a donation.”
Aloha United Way also operates the 211 helpline, the only statewide helpline providing information and referrals about emergency resources and services to Hawaiʻi residents. Residents in need of assistance are encouraged to call, text or chat 211, which operates seven days a week between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. For those without access to a landline or cellular telephone but who have access to wifi, auw211.org offers a live chat feature to reach AUW’s community resource specialists. The service is free and confidential.
“Through our network of partner agencies, AUW 211 maintains a list of programs and resources for shelters, healthcare, food, school closures and much more,” said Jennifer Pecher, vice president of 211 Community Response. “AUW has a live person ready to speak with you, hear your story, and do what we can to help.”
In addition to the live helpline, AUW 211 offers a searchable database online; however, during this evolving situation, the most timely information is available via call, text and chat.
“Our Database Curator and staff have been actively updating our resource database and following up with service providers in anticipation of an increase in call volume and community need,” said Pecher. “Already this morning, we saw roughly double the call volume we would on a normal Wednesday. Fortunately, our Community Resource specialists are ready to respond right away. Our goal is to answer at least 90% of calls within 30 seconds.”
“Response time is everything in a crisis,” said Fink. “As a community welfare organization that’s been serving Hawaiʻi for more than a century, we’re honored to provide support without delay to friends, family and neighbors in need during these unprecedented circumstances. Our thoughts and prayers are with our ʻohana on Maui.”
About Aloha United Way
Founded in 1919, Aloha United Way brings resources, organizations and businesses together to advance the health, education and financial stability of every person in our community. AUW has evolved over the years and adapted to meet our community’s greatest needs focusing on amplifying non-profit agencies and their work as well as the 211 statewide helpline, ALICE Initiative and Safety Net Fund. A member of United Way Worldwide, AUW supports nonprofits and communities on Oahu. For more information, visit AUW.org.