Salvation Army lends aid to Maui after devastating fire

PHOTOS: Aerial shot of Lahaina
PHOTOS: Aerial shot of Lahaina(DLNR)
Published: Aug. 15, 2023 at 5:44 PM CDT
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (GRAY) – Despite losing three buildings of their own, the Salvation Army is helping to aid community members displaced by the fires in Maui.

“The Salvation Army has lost properties, a center for worship and service, or a community center as we would call it,” said Lt. Colonel Randall Polsley, with the Salvation Army’s Northern Division, “[We lost a] thrift store, and even an officer’s residence.”

The organization has still managed to be a massive help in the community it’s called home.

“The Salvation Army is providing about 7,200 meals a day at three different shelters for evacuees,” said Polsley.

The disaster prevents a unique set of circumstances. Polsley says typically, the organization can transfer supplies to areas in need, but Maui is far away from the U.S. Mainland.

“It’s not a practical situation, in this case, where it’s almost strictly a monetary gift that can be sent directly to the frontlines there in Hawaii,” he said.

Still, that money is going straight back to the community, helping to stimulate local economy. The organization hopes to maintain a presence in the area well after the debris is cleared.

“The Salvation Army will be in this for the long haul because we’re part of that city, you know, we’re part of the community. There’s no intent to leave during the most difficult time.”

Our station’s parent company, Gray Television has partnered with the Salvation Army to raise money for the fire.

Text “FIRE RELIEF” to 51555 to take part.