100 years

Hawai‘i Community Foundation
Maui Strong Fund Grantees - Natural, Historical & Cultural Resources

Natural, Historical & Cultural Resources – Areas of Focus


Natural and Cultural Resources
Technology, Logistics, and Transportation

Natural and Cultural Resources

East Maui Taro Festival (4/19/24) - $150,000
An annual event that celebrates the cultural significance of taro farming in Hawai‘i, the East Maui Taro Festival’s goal is to educate people about taro and other cultural practices. The 2024 festival uplifted the priority for economic revitalization of rural community farmers supporting recovery and provided a platform for Maui's fire-affected farmers who are recovering themselves, while honoring Kula and Lahaina through gifts, donations, information, and support services hosted on the festival grounds. The Maui Strong Fund joins two other funders to ensure the event is supported in 2024.

Ka ʻIke Mau Loa O Ke Kai Hohonu (9/8/23) - $168,000
Ka ʻIke Mau Loa O Ke Kai Hohonu is an O'ahu-based nonprofit with employees and volunteers that grew up and still live in Kula, Maui. The group has been supporting green waste removal and fuel load reduction in Kula following the fires, by helping residents who are unable to remove the debris on their own. The organization is also supporting the Kula Hub to ensure that supplies, educational materials, and other resources remain available for Kula residents - especially while the water is not yet cleared for drinking or cooking. With funding, the organization will focus on its green waste removal efforts and operating the Kula Hub with local staffing support and key partner, Upcountry Strong.

Kula Community Watershed Alliance with fiscal sponsor Na Koa Manu Conservation Inc. (2/8/24) - $481,800
Kula Community Watershed Alliance (KCWA) is a land recovery initiative led by many fire survivors living in the burned areas of Kula, Maui, that were devastated by the August 2023 wildfire. KCWA’s goal is to steward the land to be more resilient, hold more water, suffer less erosion, and fend off future fires more effectively. The organization has convened neighbors, local leaders, and subject matter experts to develop a unified plan to support the land‘s recovery from the fires, including the establishment of a safer landscape and optimum watershed health focused on stabilizing and regenerating the disturbed soil, restoring and protecting site-appropriate native flora and fauna, and stewarding the long-term vitality of the land. Funding supports soil stabilization, fencing, a greenhouse for seed propagation, and staffing for project management and implementation for 25 acres of priority lands in Kula.

Rooted Kekahi Me Ka ‘Āina (2/6/24) - $191,749
Rooted Kekahi Me Ka ‘Āina (Rooted) is a nonprofit community organization whose mission is to grow food and family together using place-based education and traditional and cultural practices. Operating out of Kīhei, the Rooted has developed a workforce development program to support internships and consulting opportunities that provide much-needed work opportunities in the community. The programming engages wetlands restoration practices in Kula Kai and looks forward to developing an experienced team that can transition to Mokuʻula in the future. In addition, the organization has dedicated a small portion of the budget to providing families along the burn zone access to water until they are able to mitigate access barriers to safe and clean drinking water. Funds support supervisors and internship costs, equipment, and supplies.

Surfrider Foundation (11/17/23) - $48,000
Dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves, and beaches, for all people, through a powerful activist network, the Surfrider Foundation (SF) seeks to improve community awareness on water quality issues and create action to positively impact the health and recreational enjoyment of Maui's ocean waters, specifically 10 surf spots and six miles of coastline in Lahaina. Funding will go toward staffing to support water quality monitoring activities in Lahaina, alongside partner Hui O Ka Wai Ola, to increase the organizational capacity to respond and provide support as the community begins the process of recovery and rebuilding, in alignment with SF’s mission to protect and restore the coastal environment and ensure safe recreation.

University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa, Richardson School of Law (2/29/24) - $10,000
The University of Hawaiʻi Law Review at the William S. Richardson School of Law is holding its Spring 2024 Symposium, E Hoʻi ka Nani: Chief Justice Richardson’s Public Trust Legacy and Envisioning the Future of Wai. Funds will support participation by Maui community members in a series of panels focused on uplifting community voices and highlighting legal principles that may assist the Maui community in its recovery and the protection of its resources.

University of Hawaiʻi Maui College with fiscal sponsor University of Hawai'i Foundation (2/8/24) - $450,000
A central resource for many community and public groups to work together on recovery initiatives, the University of Hawai'i Maui College (UHMC) serves as a key education and training resource enabling Maui residents to re-skill themselves, gain occupational certifications, and provide learning and experiential opportunities in key industry sectors and recovery efforts. UHMC has been supported to provide the opportunity for 15 fellows across three initiatives to support critical areas for long-term care and post-fire recovery. These initiatives include Puʻuhonua Kauluwehi, focused on biocultural resilience, Hulihia Center for Sustainable Systems, focused on restoration of critical natural ecosystems and community well-being, and UHMC's Water Quality Laboratory, focused on collaborative water quality and containment assessments off the coast of Maui. These three initiatives are rooted in community engagement and support the natural resource recovery of Maui's fire-impacted areas.

Technology, Logistics, and Transportation

Blue Water Rafting (8/11/23) - $5,000
Local boating company Blue Water Rafting, along with partnering local boat captains, are working collectively to transport supplies from Kīhei Harbor to those stranded in and above Lahaina town. Partners on the ground to this boat effort are several local truck drivers who are actively delivering to families in need and have been meeting the boat captains at designated harbors.

Community Workday Program, dba Mālama Maui Nui (8/14/23) - $100,000
Community Workday Program (dba Malama Maui Nui) is a nonprofit poised with vehicle support, volunteer manpower, equipment, and supplies to provide transportation for initial emergent support and then later utilize their heavy-duty trucks and equipment to support cleanup efforts. With their vehicles, they have done supply runs daily to take water, food, first aid, healthcare, and social services to support people in Lahaina. The next phase of their work is to help with waste/debris removal and will coordinate with government officials on this activity. They have experience cleaning up sites and can support with the proper equipment, hard hats, safety vests, gloves, road cones, tents, tables, chairs, high visibility attire, grabbers and reusable trash bags, and other things to create a sustainable approach to the work ahead. They have engaged a variety of partners including the County of Maui, houseless service nonprofits, social service nonprofits, food service providers, and other first responders.

Footprint Project (8/24/23) - $250,000
Footprint Project is coordinating with local NGOs, local government, local solar installers, and microgrid industry partners to provide free emergency power for community relief hubs in Maui. Solar grids are being deployed for community charging hubs, as on-the-ground partners are unable to pinpoint recovery of utilities in the region. As of August 18, four solar microgrids have been deployed at three community relief sites, and there are 12 potential sites available for installation. Funds will be used for solar and battery equipment procurement, installation and maintenance by local solar installers, and disaster program logistics and management. Partners on the ground include: Maui Nui Resiliency Hui, Maui County Council, Regenerative Education Centers, Direct Relief, ITDRC, SmartAID, and Empowered By Light. Industry partners for the technology installation include Hawai‘i Solar Energy Association, Sunrun, Rising Sun Solar, Greentech Renewables, Fortress Power, Schneider Electric, LONGi, Elcco Electric, SimpliPhi Power, and Sol-Ark.

Hawaiʻi Technology Academy - $107,300
Awarded 9/6/23 - $27,300
Awarded 1/12/24 - $80,000
The Hawaiʻi Technology Academy is a K-12 public charter school that operates a blended learning program in which 80 percent of coursework is online and 20 percent is in person. The school has enrolled 21 new high school students from Lahaina who were affected by the fires. Initial funds support transportation costs and laptop purchases for the students. Subsequent funding will help meet the growing demand for educational programming for West Maui students, supporting the purchase of laptops, chromebooks, and 12 weeks of transportation costs for Lahaina students who are enrolling into the program in increasing numbers.

Hawaiian Hope Org (9/6/23) - $225,000
Hawaiian Hope Org is a technology-based nonprofit that specializes in computer refurbishing. The organization seeks to provide 1,500 computers to those impacted by the wildfires. It has 5,000 computers in stock at two sites and has already begun distributing computers that are ready for use. Through these funds, the organization can staff a volunteer coordinator position that will lead the team of volunteers helping to get the hardware ready for use.

J. Walter Cameron Center (11/9/23) - $50,000
The J. Walter Cameron Center’s Laptop Relief Program aims to bridge the digital divide by supplying those in need with laptops, which are essential tools for families and individuals who need to access digital applications and important emails for relief and recovery assistance. The program serves communities island-wide, including Lahaina, Kīhei, Kula, and other areas impacted by the wildfires.

Lahaina Town Action Committee with fiscal sponsor Hui o Wa‘a Kaulua (11/17/23) - $200,000
Started in 1988 by local businesses and residents concerned about a temporary Front Street bridge impeding access to the town, the Lahaina Town Action Committee (LAC) is channeling all its resources to serve as a key facilitator for West Maui’s economic recovery and rebuild. After the fires, each small Maui business is facing an impact to their market—decreased customer base, less expendable income locally, and significant loss of wholesale markets in Lahaina. Funding will support LAC’s coordination, staffing, marketing, lodging, and administrative costs related to its Kokua for Maui - Shop & Show Aloha program that supports Maui small businesses by bringing them to events to sell to the local market in locations across the state, covering costs for travel and lodging, and providing a space for sales thanks to partnerships with the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, County of Maui, Maui Office of Economic Development, Hawai‘i Food and Wine Festival, Kapalua Resort Association, Royal Hawaiian Center, Southwest Airlines, Turo, K3 Marketing, and more.

Maui Economic Development Board (8/17/23) - $50,000
Maui Economic Development Board Inc. (MEDB) is running a small network of Starlink wi-fi/cell terminals and cell phone charging stations around the Lahaina and Westside impacted areas. The terminals and charging stations are being used nearly around the clock, providing connection to find loved ones and to fill out all the internet forms and resources those affected are being directed to. MEDB is coordinating with the Mayor’s Office, the Maui Police Department, and a range of Maui-based technology companies and donors.

Maui Nui Resiliency Hui - $248,760
Awarded 8/16/23 - $123,760
Awarded 8/25/23 - $125,000
Maui Nui Resiliency Hui (MNRH) is supporting the installation of 12 standalone power stations in Lahaina, where power has not yet been fully restored. Each solar power pack can power a Starlink terminal to provide internet access, and can connect to 128 devices for charging. This power service is critical to families still stranded in Lahaina. The organization is working with county councilmembers and the Maui Police Department to gain access to the secured community. There is a sense of urgency to get power to this community before any impending weather arrives to the islands. This is also considered a long-term need for the area. MNRH is also supporting two month subscriptions for seven Starlink terminals that have been donated to the community through a local partnership. MNRH will ensure the terminals are installed and operating.

Maui Reef Adventures (8/16/23) - $5,000
Maui Reef Adventures has been transporting supplies to Lahaina utilizing both Mala Ramp and Kahana Beach since August 10, 2023. It has completed six round-trip supply runs with Maui Gold Pineapple, which has donated 12,000 pounds of fresh cut and whole pineapple along with bottled water, fuel, non-perishable food, ice, pet food, diapers, and hygiene products. In addition, it recently worked with a company to deliver donated fuel, clothing, baby and pet food, baby bottles, formula, diapers, and non-perishable food products on its behalf. The company is also offering support with transporting individuals stranded by road closures out of Lahaina.

Nurture Cultivate (10/20/23) - $125,000
Since June 2023, Nurture Cultivate Inc. has run the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which helps ensure that qualifying low-income households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare, and more. Its focus has been in Koʻolauloa, Oʻahu, but it expanded its work to Maui after the wildfires. The ACP's main objective is to connect eligible community members to affordable internet service, and funding is primarily for on-island staff to conduct outreach and enrollment efforts, assisting with applications, and offering translation services. Funds will support Maui-based staffing costs to ensure Maui families can be signed up for the ACP program and be connected to other available technology-related resources, ensuring that people affected by the Maui fires remain connected and have access to essential services.

Project Strong One (9/8/23) - $8,950
Project Strong One is a nonprofit organization partnering with a collaboration among Maui-based community members seeking resources for their communities. Key partners include Maui Collective Contributor, the VA Clinic Pacific Island System, Tulsi Gabbard's "Helping Hands," and Healing Maui, who are all responding to the Maui fires in Lahaina and Kula. Project Strong One has sourced supplies at the directive of the local partners and is providing assistance in delivering 40 pallets of essential and consumable items. Funds are covering the cost to ship the items to these listed partner agencies and NGOs, who are coordinating pickup and delivery on Maui.

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