Wildfires on the Hawaiian island of Maui have killed at least 36 people, displaced thousands of residents and destroyed hundreds of structures, including homes, businesses and a school, prompting President Biden to declare a “major disaster.”
Many people are wondering how they can help, and Hawaii Atty. Gen. Anne Lopez has warned the public to exercise caution about where to send their money.
“We are already seeing various fundraising efforts being promoted on social media platforms and online,” Lopez said in a news release. “In moments of crisis, we all must be extra vigilant against bad actors who try to take advantage of people’s goodwill.”
Charities that solicit donations in Hawaii must be registered with the Department of the Attorney General, which can be verified online. Residents can also use the IRS Tax Exemption Organization Search, Charity Navigator and DCCA Business Search to verify a charity.
Hawaii Gov. Josh Green has also directed donors to give money to the Hawaii Community Foundation.
Here are other ways you can help:
Sign up for Essential California, your daily guide to news, views and life in the Golden State.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.