In the aftermath of the unprecedented wildfires in Hawaii, the American Bankers Association will donate $25,000 to the Hawaii Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund to assist with immediate disaster response and recovery. The ABA donation follows a similar contribution from its alliance partners at the Hawaii Bankers Association. HBA was one of the first organizations to donate to the Maui Strong Fund, and banks across Hawaii are stepping up to support relief efforts by accepting donations at branches across the state.
“It’s hard to fully comprehend the damage and destruction we are seeing on Maui, and our hearts go out to all those affected by this disaster,” said Rob Nichols, ABA president and CEO. “We’re proud to stand with our friends and colleagues at the Hawaii Bankers Association in support of the Maui Strong Fund, and we urge bankers across the country to consider donating to this worthy and important cause.”
The Maui fires have destroyed more than 2,700 structures and left as many as 4,500 homeless as of Aug. 13. Officials say it could take years to rebuild the town of Lahaina and recover from the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century. Five of the seven banks chartered in Hawaii have branches in Lahaina, and bank employees have been among those directly affected by the disaster.
“We appreciate the support we have received from our friends at the American Bankers Association and bankers around the nation,” said Neal Okabayashi, executive director of the HBA. “It will take time for Lahaina and the other communities affected by the fires to recover from this unimaginable tragedy, but with the help of the banking industry and many others, we will rebuild.”