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Here to Help

Volunteers and others are providing aid to people affected by a fire that destroyed part of Maui in August.

Several people sort through food, water, and other emergency supplies outdoors under a shelter.

Yuki Iwamura—AFP/Getty Images

Volunteers sort through donations given to help those affected by the fire in Maui.

Relief workers, volunteers, and celebrities rushed to help after a fire devastated part of the Hawaiian island of Maui. The blaze, which ignited on August 8, 2023, killed at least 100 people and destroyed thousands of buildings, including many homes.

The fire left many people homeless and in need of food, shelter, and basic supplies. Local charitable organizations are helping, many of them with assistance from national and international organizations like the American Red Cross. For example, the Maui Strong Fund collects donations and distributes the money to organizations that provide shelter, food, and financial help. A group called Chef Hui brings together chefs, farmers, and others in the food industry who are willing to supply food and prepare meals for people in need.

Help has also come from the mainland. Americans from many states have sent supplies or money to Maui. Workers with the American Red Cross and other organizations have flown from their home states to the island to help in any way they can.

“They’ve lost everything,” Andrea Webb, who works with the American Red Cross of New Jersey, told CBS News in New York, after landing in Hawaii. “They need some kind of help with anything even if it’s a hug, a kind word.”

Celebrities have brought attention to the disaster as well. Actor Matthew McConaughey announced he would pay for a plane to fly supplies to Maui. Famed surfer Archie Kalepa and some volunteers are distributing supplies from the front yard of Kalepa’s Maui home. And actor Auliʻi Cravalho, who is Native Hawaiian, created an Instagram post urging fans to make donations.

If you are interested in helping, make sure your donation will get to the people of Maui. Ask an adult to help you find a trusted charitable organization.

Did You Know?

© Gdayton/; Infographic Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Hawaii’s population is more diverse than that of any other U.S. state. This is based on the U.S. Census Bureau Diversity Index, which measures the probability that two people from a population will be from different racial or ethnic groups.

A Trip Through Time

A replica of an ancient canoe with orange sails carries several people on a body of water with green mountains in the background.

Courtesy of Polynesian Voyaging Society, © Na’alehu Anthony—Oiwi TV

In 1975, a group of people built the type of boat ancient Polynesians would have used to travel from the Marquesas Islands to Hawaii.

Did you know that Hawaii once had kings and queens? Take a journey through the long history of the 50th U.S. state…

The first European to set foot in Hawaii was Captain James Cook of England, in 1778. By the time Cook arrived, people had been living on the islands for about 1,500 years.

People first arrived in Hawaii in about 300 CE. They probably originated in the Marquesas Islands and traveled thousands of miles by canoe until they reached the Hawaiian Islands. For centuries, Hawaiians lived in small communities ruled by chieftains. The Hawaiian people developed a culture rich with oral storytelling, music, and a vast knowledge of local plants and animals. This is what Captain Cook would have observed when he first visited Hawaii in 1778.

By 1810, the islands were ruled by one leader—King Kamehameha I—who had conquered all of Hawaii. Hawaii would be ruled by monarchs for another nearly 85 years.

© Gordon Fahey/

King Kamehameha I once ruled all of Hawaii. Today, there is a statue of Kamehameha in Honolulu, the state capital.

During the 19th century, Europeans and Americans visited Hawaii several times, and some came to stay. Over time, Americans increased their domination of Hawaii. They introduced their culture, beliefs, and more to the Hawaiian people—and forced them to recognize and accept a more American way of life. By the late 19th century, Americans were operating sugar plantations on Hawaii. These large farms made Americans wealthy, which made them want even more control over the islands.

In 1893, Americans overthrew the monarchy. Seven years later, the United States annexed (took control of) Hawaii. Hawaii would become the 50th U.S. state in 1959.

Volcanic Islands

© Earth Pixel LLC/

Did you know the Hawaiian Islands are the tops of volcanoes? There’s a lot more to learn about Hawaii!






: a feeling of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry, in trouble, etc.

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