Red Cross volunteers from Utah heading to help Maui fire relief efforts
Aug 11, 2023, 3:03 PM | Updated: 3:04 pm
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s chapter of the American Red Cross is helping with fire relief efforts on Maui.
KSL’s Tamara Vaifanua spoke with volunteers about their mission and what they’re focusing on specifically. Later today, the first volunteers from the Beehive State will be heading to Hawaii.
They’ll be deployed for at least three weeks. A typical assignment lasts two weeks – so this is an indication of the grueling work ahead of them to help people recover from the devastating wildfires.
With the death toll climbing to at least 55 on Friday, officials estimate thousands will need housing.
Volunteers will devote their time to providing food, shelter, medicine and mental health services.
Heidi Ruster, CEO of the Utah-Nevada chapter of the American Red Cross, said more Utah volunteers will be deployed as they assess needs in the coming days.
“It’s an emotional roller coaster that they’re going through and we’re there to help just get their basic needs taken care of now and then work with our partners like FEMA, Salvation Army and others to figure out what do they need right now to be able to get to the point of stability,” Ruster said.