HONOLULU — Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii issued the following message on Aug. 10:
“We have been watching in disbelief the tremendous destruction caused by the recent wildfires on Maui. The loss of life, livelihood, and property has been devastating.
“Lahaina Hongwanji and its Sangha were directly affected by the fires. The temple, columbarium, classroom building, and minister’s residence were completely destroyed in the horrific fires that devastated historic Lahaina town. Many temple members were forced to evacuate, and many homes were burnt to the ground.
“Our hearts go out to all who have been impacted by this disaster. As residents and our fellow Sangha members begin the process of rebuilding and healing, Hawaii Kyodan is committed to supporting relief efforts on Maui.
“In the spirit of compassionate action, we have established the Maui Wildfire Disaster Relief Fund. You can donate in the following ways:
“1. Online at www.hongwanjihawaii.com by clicking on the ‘Maui Wildfire Disaster Relief’ button under the “Donate” tab.
“2. Through GoFundMe at the following link: https://gofund.me/ff77a520
“3. Check and cash donations can be sent directly to Hawaii Kyodan Headquarters. Pleas
make check payable to HHMH and in the memo line designate ‘Maui Wildfire Disaster
Relief’ to ensure proper credit. Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii, 1727 Pali Highway, Honolulu, HI 96813
“All donations collected will go to support Lahaina Hongwanji and relief efforts on Maui. The Office of the Bishop and Committee on Social Concerns will prioritize addressing the immediate and short-term needs of temple families displaced by the fires and supporting the greater community as it rebuilds.
“The committee will select reputable relief agencies and organizations to support in order to ensure our donations will directly aid those impacted by this disaster. Updates will be shared on our website at www.hongwanjihawaii.com.
“Mahalo for your generosity and support during this time of tragedy.”
The letter was signed by Rev. Toshiyuki Umitani, bishop; Dr. Warren Tamamoto, president; and Rev. Blayne Higa, chair of the Committee on Social Concerns.
Additional information was issued by Buddhist Churches of America’s headquarters in San Francisco.
“In response to the fire that has devastated Maui, the BCA has put in place the following disaster relief effort to help support our Dharma friends in Hawaii through our BCA Social Welfare Committee,” said Rev. Michael Endo, executive assistant to the bishop. “Here is how you can help:
“Donations can be made online through: https://bca.kindful.com/
“Donations can also be made by check. Please make check payable to: BCA Endowment Foundation (please note on memo line: Maui Relief). Mail checks to: BCA Endowment Foundation, 2140 Durant Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704.”
In related news, Minda Yamaga, president of Honolulu JACL, said, “There currently is a fundraiser through the Hawaii Community Foundation called the Maui Strong Fund (https://www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org/maui-strong). The donation form is quick and easy, and the funds go to them immediately, allowing them to get the funds to families in need faster.
“Kākoʻo Maui (https://www.memberplanet.com/campaign/cnhamembers/kakoomaui) is a local grassroots organization that is doing a match fundraiser for up to $100,000.”