Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donates $1M to Red Cross for Maui wildfire relief

Aug 21, 2023, 10:15 AM | Updated: 10:19 am

In an aerial view, burned cars and homes are seen a neighborhood that was destroyed by a wildfire o...

In an aerial view, burned cars and homes are seen a neighborhood that was destroyed by a wildfire on August 17, 2023 in Lahaina, Hawaii. At least 111 people were killed and thousands were displaced after a wind driven wildfire devastated the towns of Lahaina and Kula early last week. Crews are continuing to search for missing people. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

LAHAINA, Hawaii — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has donated $1 million to the American Red Cross to help with relief efforts after wildfires devastated communities across Maui.

Bishop W. Christopher Waddell, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, announced the donation and met with Red Cross representatives on Sunday.

“The Church’s partnership with the Red Cross is so valuable. It reaches so many people and helps so many people who are suffering, and the Church’s donation helps alleviate that human suffering,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president of disaster operations and logistics with the Red Cross.

The donation will support the Red Cross’s efforts to provide:

  • Shelter to survivors
  • Meals, bedding, hygiene kits
  • Medical, mental health and family unification services

Brad Kieserman, vice president, disaster operations and logistics with American Red Cross, speaks with Bishop W. Christopher Waddell, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, in Lahaina, Hawaii, Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

Over the weekend, Bishop Waddell and local Church leaders met with many community organizations that are providing aid on Maui. They also showed Hawaii Gov. Josh Green the evacuation site and shelter on the grounds of a church meetinghouse in Kahului.

“What you are doing is extraordinary for the people of Maui,” Green said. “We need everyone together. I think this kind of crisis brings people together. The sense of loss is there. There are people feeling desperation. They feel their lives if they weren’t lost in the fire may be lost in other ways. You will lift them up.”

Elder Mark A. Bragg visits with Latter-day Saints during his visit to Maui after deadly wildfires on the Hawaiian island of Maui, Aug. 18, 2023. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, told the Associated Press that about 85% of the affected area had been searched and nearly 2,000 people remained without power and 10,000 were without telecom connectivity as of Sunday. Water in parts of west Maui is not safe to drink.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden are traveling to Maui to comfort survivors of the devastating wildfires. They will land in Hawaii Monday afternoon.

“I know how profoundly loss can impact a family and a community and I know nothing can replace the loss of life,” Biden said in a statement ahead of the trip. “I will do everything in my power to help Maui recover and rebuild from this tragedy. And throughout our efforts, we are focused on respecting sacred lands, cultures, and traditions.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

FILE - Steam billows from a coal-fired power plant Nov. 18, 2021, in Craig, Colo. The U.S. Securiti...

David A. Lieb, Associated Press

Republican AGs ask Supreme Court to block climate change lawsuits brought by several states

Utah state attorney general joins eighteen other Republican AGs in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to get involved in a dispute over climate-change lawsuits.

7 minutes ago

Traffic moves on I-15 in Salt Lake City on Thursday, May 18, 2023. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)...

Karah Brackin

UDOT warns of busy roads ahead of Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day weekend is seeing traffic pick up as Utahns get out of school, clock out of work, and fill up the gas tank.

1 hour ago

(Copper Mountain Middle School)...

Eliza Pace

Utah seventh grader helps friend cross the finish line of school race

A seventh grader is being praised for helping his friend cross the finish line at their school race.

2 hours ago

A still from "Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story" by Ian Bonhãte and Peter Ettedgui, an offici...


Sundance film ‘Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story’ gets U.S. theatrical release

Sundance film "Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story" will get a special-even theatrical release in the U.S.

4 hours ago

FILE PHOTO of handcuffs and gavel...

Eliza Pace

Utah man accused of kidnapping 13-year-old Arizona girl

A man was taken into custody on Thursday on suspicion of kidnapping a 13-year-old girl.

5 hours ago

Axel Thomas Peterson and his father Matthew Peterson placing flags on veteran graves at the Larkin ...

Kiersten Nunez

Honoring veterans: 3,000 flags placed by youth volunteers

In a heartfelt tribute to the men and women who have served the country, more than 200 youth volunteers from around the Salt Lake Valley gathered to honor military veterans ahead of Memorial Day.

16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donates $1M to Red Cross for Maui wildfire relief