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Just after midnight on August 8th, 2024, tragedy struck Maui, when a rapid fire tore through the area, leaving deviation in its wake. Maui families lost everything, lives were taken, and the community faced one of Hawaii’s most heartbreaking events in recent history.
Amidst the chaos and despair, Mauna Loa Helicopters and Mauna Loa Aero rose to the occasion with a spirit of generosity and determination. On August 10th, just two days after the disaster, we launched “Kokua Maui,” a relief drive aimed at providing essential supplies to the thousands affected by the wildfire.
Our team at Mauna Loa Helicopters and Mauna Loa Aero, alongside dedicated community volunteers, worked tirelessly for three days gathering crucial items such as baby essentials, water, food, sleeping items, and toiletries at our Honolulu and Kona locations. However, reaching Maui’s limited-access airports posed a significant challenge.
Resourcefulness and community connections came to the rescue as word spread through the “coconut wireless.” Through this network we were able to connect with King’s Church on Maui, securing landing access for our helicopters and enabling direct deliveries to shelters and communities in need.
On August 12th, laden with supplies, an R66, an R44 helicopter, a Cessna 172, and a Piper Arrow embarked on the first of many missions to Maui from Kona. Each trip carried vital supplies, totaling over 2,000 pounds relieved through more than 15 flights to various locations including the Kahului Airport, Kapalua Airport, and King’s Church property.
The impact of Mauna Loa Helicopters and Mauna Loa Aero efforts continues to resonate as Lahaina and Maui work towards rebuild and recovery. The compassion and swift action of the “Kokua Maui” relief drives serve as a beacon of hope and solidarity, reminding us of the strength found in unity and community support during challenging times.
As we reflect on this journey, let us not forget the resilience of Lahaina’s people and the unwavering dedication of organizations in our community, whose commitment to serving others shines brightly in the face of adversity. Together, we will rise, rebuild, and renew hope for a bright tomorrow for Lahaina and Maui.
Mauna Loa Helicopters and Mauna Loa Aero would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals who stood by our sides as we navigated through the stormy seas of aiding Maui during this trying and tumultuous period. We are one of Ohana (family), and these community organizations showed their Aloha with us.
Kings Church Maui & King’s Church Honokaa
Citizens Church Maui
Waikoloa Beach Marriott
Lex Brodies Hawaii
Imiloa Astronomy Center
Keck Observatory
White Gloves Moving Company
Kona Mountain Coffee
Shear Magic Pet Salon
Royal Order Tattoo
Maui Fire Department
Kele Fergustrom


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