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Support fund aids ASU community members affected by Maui fires

Hawaii islands with text "Caring for our community. This is ASU."
September 11, 2023

After the devastating wildfires in Maui, Hawaii, people across all the islands are facing loss and hardship, including potentially more than 2,400 people from the Arizona State University community who live in Hawaii. The newly established Maui Support Fund aims to assist these individuals affected by the tragedy.

ASU has been actively engaging with communities, organizations and government entities in Hawaii since 2014, and since then has cultivated a strong community of Sun Devils originally from, or currently living, on the islands.

“There is a desire and a strong sense of responsibility to help where we can,” said Gretchen Buhlig, chief executive officer of the ASU Foundation for A New American University. “Those from the Sun Devil family that are affected face a great deal of loss and hardship. It is important that they are not facing this alone.” 

The fund intends to create a support system for members of the Sun Devil community, including students, faculty, staff and alumni, who were directly or indirectly impacted by the recent events. All contributions made to the fund will be used for needs such as food, shelter, goods and educational services.

If there are any remaining funds after all Sun Devils in need have received aid, the remainder will be directed to the Hawaii Community Foundation, one of the most trusted community organizations on the islands and an organization with which ASU has a longstanding partnership.

ASU focuses its work in Hawaii around four pillars: education; sustainability initiatives; honoring Indigenous knowledge systems; and the importance of community collaborations. The following are a few examples:

  • The Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science, led by Greg Asner, seeks to expand our understanding of the natural world, supporting conservation efforts in coastal ecosystems. It is based in Hawaii and grants access to the necessary environment and resources to carry out its mission.
  • For almost 10 years, ASU has worked closely with Kamehameha Schools to underpin and support their mission to educate native Hawaiian children. In 2020, ASU Prep partnered with Kamehameha Schools to build an online platform for their students and trained their teachers to deploy digital, blended and hybrid learning teaching methods and best practices. ASU Prep also helped co-create culturally relevant learning environments so learning could continue through the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this partnership with Kamehameha Schools and the Hawaii Department of Education, ASU provided modern, full-digital learning capabilities to thousands of elementary school students across the state. The partnership also offers scholarship opportunities to Hawaii residents who enroll full time at ASU.
  • ASU partners with the Polynesian Voyaging Society to create an online sailing simulation to amplify the brilliance of Polynesian voyaging and navigation. The partnership creates opportunities to reach students across the globe.

If you would like to support those affected by the Maui fires, click here.

If you are part of the ASU community and have been affected by the Maui fires, click here.

Written by Richard Canas

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