Aloha to all our school leader and educator colleagues across the country. As you know, the devastating fires in Lahaina in Maui have shaken all of us here in Hawaii. The entire nation has watched a tragedy unfold, and many of our colleagues have asked us how they can help the Maui schools, educators, students and their families. I’m writing to let everyone know how to donate to support this cause.

The glow from the fires is visible beyond Kula Elementary School in Maui. The school was in the vicinity of the upland fires but was not burned.

The Hawaii State Department of Education has partnered with the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation to accept monetary donations in support of Maui school communities that have been directly impacted. Donations can be made at, and 100% of all gifts made through October 1, 2023, will be dedicated solely to help Maui schools recover. In-kind offers of support can also be made through the Department’s Maui donation form. The information will be made available to schools, and donors will be contacted at a later time if and when schools need the goods or services offered.

Additionally, the Hawaii Community Foundation is also collecting donations for all of Lahaina’s recovery, and that is another effort where your charity would be well spent towards helping the community rebuild.

The view from a principal’s home in Maui, about three quarters of a mile away from the flames.

I have been touched to hear from so many principals and educators across the country who want to help. The loss the people of Lahaina are experiencing is unimaginable. We cannot replace the lives lost, but our contributions can help schools and the community rebuild as they set out on a long, hard road towards recovery.

Mahalo for your generosity in this time of great need. I am proud to be a Hawaii school leader and to be surrounded by amazing educator colleagues here and across the country.

About the Author

Lisa DeLong, EdD, is a Principal in Residence with the Hawaii Department of Education and NASSP’s Hawaii State Coordinator.