TFC News

Las Vegas locals extend support to wildfire-hit Maui

Bev Llorente | TFC News Nevada

Posted at Sep 15 2023 05:13 PM

Las Vegas is home to many Asian Pacific Americans, thus earning it the title as the “Ninth Island,” with the city having the largest population of Hawaiians outside of Hawaii.

And as the island of Maui reels from the worst wildfire in modern U.S. history, unity took center stage for the people of Las Vegas.

Its residents have been proactive in finding ways to send relief to the calamity-hit island.

"Within 72 hours, we sent food to the Maui Food Bank," said Kate Recto of the Philippine Chambers of Commerce of Southern Nevada. "The director of the food bank was thankful because they were running out of food."

Backpacks, canned foods, and toiletries are set to be flown to Lahaina following the donation drives in Las Vegas.

"People have different way of grieving," Recto added. "Every person came here and gave something of themselves.”

U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto who represents Nevada reaffirmed Las Vegas' support for Maui.

"My heart goes out to all those families and all the support we can provide," she said.

Masto added: "I’ve been in communication with the (Hawaii) senators Macy Hirono and Brian Schatz and giving them the commitment to do everything we can on a federal level to provide support the resources that Hawaii needs."

Aside from donating goods, psychologists are also offering guidance on how affected residents can cope with the disaster.

"The 'Ninth Island' is not just the concept of fun," said Dr. Rhigel Tan. "Even though we are here in the mainland, we try to reach out also to those who are affected in Maui."

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce of Southern Nevada continues to welcome donations for the victims of the wildfire in Maui.

Those in the U.S. who wish to extend help can reach them via 702-460-1646.