Phoenix businesses create fundraisers to help family, friends impacted by Maui wildfires

Valley small businesses are stepping up to help Maui wildfire victims by raising money and sending donations of clothes, shoes and hygiene items.
Published: Aug. 11, 2023 at 5:04 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Many of the families on Maui lost everything. Back here in the Valley, small businesses are stepping up to do what they can to help by raising money and sending donations of clothes, shoes and hygiene items.

After wildfires devastated Maui, local businesses are trying to do what they can to help family and friends and show support. Helping those in need this weekend may be as easy as grabbing a bite to eat. “There’s a reason why people gravitate towards those islands. To heal, to start over, to move, to have a vacation home,” said La Edison, who has family on Maui.

Amidst the chaos and heartbreak, those with ties to Hawaii, like La Edison, are making an impact. “We are a small fish in a really huge pond.” We may not be there, but we are trying to give 100% of what we are earning this weekend to the effort and directly to the families that have been affected,” Edison said, whose family is from Lahaina.

She owns Mahalo Made, a Hawaiian shaved ice shop in Phoenix. “We are giving it to families that we know that have personally been affected,” she said.

Through the weekend, Edison says all proceeds on merchandise will go to people on the island who lost everything. “What we are seeing right now is the spirit of Aloha in action and all of these communities coming together to help each other,” she said.

She’s desperately trying to help families in need while trying to locate some of her loved ones who are still missing. “It’s hard to talk about, honestly, we don’t want to lose hope for the family members we haven’t heard from. We know there isn’t cell service,” she said.

Across town, Brett Shapiro is doing the same. “I was just there last week, and when I found out about the incident, I felt I needed to help. I have friends who lost their homes.”

Shaprio is the chef at Paradise Valley Burger Co. He’s using his unique talent for a good cause. “The best thing I could do was create a menu that celebrates Hawaiian culture and Hawaiian food and donate all of that,” he said.

Through the weekend, all proceeds from the Hawaiian menu will go directly to the Maui Food Bank and the Hawaii Red Cross. “Maui is paradise. It’s a really special place,” Shapiro said.

For a full list of resources and ways you can help, click here.

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