HONOLULU (KHON2) — As donations continue to stream in for the victims of the fires on Maui, officials now request monetary contributions over physical goods due to the challenges of processing the overwhelming goodwill. In response, the state is also providing a 30,000-square-foot warehouse, known as the Maui Relief Storage Facility, to better manage the influx.

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“One of the big problems is there’s literally containers sitting on the docks in Honolulu as well as on Maui not even opened yet so this allows us a much better management system so we can give them as they need it,” said Kuhio Lewis, CEO of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement.

The primary goal is to enhance the distribution process. The Maui Relief Storage Facility, an Office of Hawaiian Affairs warehouse, is strategically located near Honolulu Harbor.

Local nonprofit, Makana O Ke Akua, alongside volunteers, will oversee the reception, sorting, and inventorying of donations. This team collaborates closely with Maui’s Donation Management Center, which began operations this past Monday.

Lewis added, “We’re trying to compartmentalize everything, you got food, you have canned goods, you have water supplies, you have medical supplies so whenever we get the word from Maui county we need this boom it’s going it’s organized it’s ready to go,”

This initiative was kickstarted on Saturday by Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke and the CNHA.

While clothing isn’t on the priority list, essential needs include food, water, toiletries, baby formula, baby food, and diapers. 

“The things that they still need would be perishable goods. We were just on Maui yesterday visiting the Maui food bank they said everything that they take in on a daily basis it goes out completely,” mentioned Lt. Gov. Luke.

It’s essential to note that the new facility isn’t designed for individual drop-offs. Instead, it’s tailored for coordinated drives from Oahu entities such as businesses, community organizations, churches, schools, etc.

Kalei Akaka, OHA Oahu Trustee, emphasized the collective spirit:

“We’re in it together as an ohana and this is an example of that lokahi, the unity to work together for our people of Maui.”

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Organizations wishing to coordinate donations can reach out at 808-241-0622 to arrange delivery.