Maui Wildfires: A Local’s List of How to Help

🔥 The 2023 Maui wildfires have laid waste to the paradisiacal memories many hold dear. Lahaina is leveled, homes lost, businesses shattered, and the toll keeps rising. Remember that blissful Hawaiian sunset, the melody of island tunes, and the scent of blooming plumeria? Now, it’s our time to return the favor.

🌺 How Can You Give Back?

Donate Financially to Maui Wildfires Disaster Efforts

Many organizations are doing great work on the ground to provide relief from the Maui wildfires. They need cash, lots, and fast, including:

  1. Hawaii Community Foundation: Donate to the Maui Strong Fund.
  2. Hawaii Red Cross: Donate for the Maui Wildfires disaster relief.
  3. Maui Food Bank: Donate to provide food and turn $1 into 4 meals.
  4. Maui Humane Society: Donate here to help pets lost and abandoned due to the Maui wildfires. UPDATE: MHS is currently inundated with many burn victims and animals with broken limbs after jumping from heights or being hit by fleeing cars. Cash donations support emergency medical care.
  5. Salvation Army Hawaii Division: Donate here to provide boxed meals to people displaced by the Maui wildfires.
  6. Maui United Way: Donate to the Fire Disaster Relief Fund.

Donate Items for Maui Wildfires Relief

  1. Hawaii Red Cross: Donate a vehicle (to be sold for cash, not shipped).
  2. Maui Goodwill: Donate diapers, menstrual products, new bedding, and clothing
  3. Maui Humane Society: Donate pet food, beds, towels, and blankets –
  4. On-Island Donations: Items are accepted at the War Memorial Complex from 8 am to 6 pm HST. Enter the complex through Kanaloa Ave and drop off donations at the field on the left. What is needed most:
    • Menstrual pads (heavy with wings)
    • Urinary incontinence pads
    • Diapers size 5/6 (large) and pulls-ups in 2/3T and 3/4T
    • Ensure and other meal replacement drinks.
Lahaina Front Street after the 2023 fire

Volunteer Your Time from Afar to Help People Impacted by the Maui Wildfires

Local volunteers: If you are already on the island, volunteers are needed at the Maui Mayor’s distribution sites and all of the above organizations to help prepare meals and distribute relief. If you are local on Maui, please kokua your time and mahalo!

Mainland volunteers: If you are on the Mainland or in another country, the best way to donate your time is to help fundraise for these organizations doing great work on the ground. Here are some of the ways you can help:

  1. Initiate a social media awareness campaign: Share, post, tweet. Let everyone know Maui needs our help. Start a conversation by sharing this post.
  2. Organize collections of new items in your vicinity, such as diapers, blankets, and pillows, and ship them to Maui’s aid organizations listed above.

⚠️ A Gentle Reminder: As much as your heart might yearn to be physically present, please refrain from flying to Maui. Let’s assist without adding to the strain.

The spirit of Aloha is about community, about togetherness. The island culture has always cherished humanity over material. As wildfires ravage through, it is our collective strength and generosity that will pave the path to healing.

One of the things I love so much about island culture is that people are more important than things. In shocking times like these, after devastating wildfires, people helping people is what allows us to survive and rebuild.

🌈 Let’s embody the Aloha spirit. Stand with Maui. Donate, spread the word, and give generously.

Connecting through Honolulu airport and other Hawaiʻi airports

This series of articles on Hawaii’s airports covers nearly all you need to know about flying to and between the Hawaiian islands. If I’ve missed something you’d like covered, please post your comment.

(Note to readers: Please click on each article to read the details.)

  1. Connecting in Honolulu International Airport (HNL) from a Mainland flight to an interisland flight
  2. Connecting with Island Air, go! or Hawaiian Airlines
  3. Connecting from an international flight to an interisland flight
  4. Tips for those departing out of HNL
  5. Non-stop flights to/from Hawaii
  6. Interisland flights between two cities in Hawaii
  7. Cheapest way to vacation in Hawaii

Non-stop flights to Hawaii

This series of articles on Hawaii’s airports covers nearly all you need to know about flying to and between the Hawaiian islands. This post covers non-stop flights to and from Hawaii.

Please note that this is by no means a comprehensive list. The airline industry is constantly changing their routes. Due to the changing nature of airline schedules, this list is only a rough guide. Please contact the carriers directly to verify flight information before booking. However, if you notice something that might be missing, please post a comment.

Domestic Non-Stop Flights to/from Honolulu, O‘ahu (HNL)
To see a complete list of the non-stop flights departing out of HNL today, please click here: (This will give you a sense of what flights are available out of and to HNL.)

Domestic Non-Stop Flights to/from Mainland to Kahului, Maui (OGG)

  • Air Canada (YVR -767)
  • American Airlines (LAX, DFW – 763)
  • Continental Airlines (LAX – 752)
  • Delta Airlines (seasonal ATL, SLC, LAX – 763/764)
  • Hawaiian Airlines (SEA, PDX, SAN -763)
  • Northwest Airlines (KOA – 753)* One-stop to SEA
  • United Airlines (LAX, SFO – 763/757)
  • US Air (LAS, PHX -752)

Domestic Non-Stop Flights to/from Līhu‘e, Kaua‘i (LIH) from Mainland

  • American Airlines (LAX – 757)
  • United Airlines (LAX, SFO – 757/763)
  • US Air (PHX – 752)
  • Alaska Airlines (SEA)

Domestic Non-Stop Flights to/from Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i (KOA) from Mainland

  • Aloha Airlines (from SNA, OAK, and YVR)
  • American Airlines (from LAX)
  • Delta Airlines (LAX)
  • Northwest Airlines (from SEA-one stop in OGG)
  • United Airlines (from DEN, LAX, and SFO)
  • US Air (PHX)
  • Alaska Airlines (SEA)

International Flights to/from Hilo,
Hawai‘i (ITO)

  • Air Canada (YVR, SYD)
  • Air New Zeland (Auckland)
  • Air Japan (NRT)
  • Air Pacific (YVR)
  • China Air (NRT, Taipei)
  • Continental Airlines (GUM, NGO and assorted islands b/w HNL & GUM)
  • Eva Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines (Sydney, Tahiti, Manila)
  • Harmony Airways (YYC – 752, also to OGG)
  • Japan Airlines (Osaka, Narita, Fukuoka)
  • Jalways (Fukuoka, Nagoya)
  • Korean Air (ICN)
  • Northwest Airlines (NRT, KIX)
  • Qantas (Oz)
  • United (NRT)

Travel Between Hawaiian Islands Update

What is the best way to travel inter-island? What is best depends on what you prefer. Here’s a run down of what services are available and the pros and cons of each option. 

Island hopping has changed over the past few years. Aloha and Go! went out of business, leaving two fewer jet airlines. Then the Hawaii Superferry revved its engines, adding ferry service between Oahu and Maui, but now it’s pau because it never performed an environment impact statement.


Airlines remain the gold standard for inter-island travel, and there are a few choices.


Hawaiian Airlines (website: ) offers the most direct jet flights out of Honolulu International (HNL) to all of the other islands. If you’re starting on another island, however, you’ll likely have to connect in Honolulu. Hawaii partners with American and the OneWorld alliance.

Direct flights from the Mainland occur more frequently to neighbor islands, and ultimately, this saves the most time and hassle. Check these airlines websites: Air Canada, Alaska, American, Continental/United, and Hawaiian.

Jets are always loud, especially if you are sitting behind the wings. Consider investing in hearing protection. I always fly with Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones for Apple devices, White(wired, 3.5mm). On longer flights, I often layer these over Lysian 35dB Foam Earplugs. 

Pros: Fast jet service with easy connections to Mainland flights.

Cons: TSA hassles, direct flights between neighbor island cities can cost more, and long flights can damage hearing.

Pro Tip: Sit up front to get on and off in less than half hour.

Prop Planes

Inside the cabin of a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan

Commuter airlines offer a more laid-back alternative. Because these airlines operate smaller planes (i.e., prop planes or puddle jumpers), they don’t use the main airport terminals. Did you catch that? No main terminals. That means no airport security hassles! It’s almost to good to be true, but it is. If you don’t mind riding in a small plane, you don’t have to bother with TSA. In other words, you can save heaps of travel time without interrupting that easy island vibe you’ve worked so hard to achieve.

Commuter Airline:

  • Kona-based Mokulele Airlines (website: ) operates 9-seat Cessna 208B Grand Caravan turboprop aircraft.

In addition to avoiding TSA and offering more direct flights between neighbor island cities, they fly at lower altitudes than jets do, providing passengers unparalleled views of Hawai’i’s magnificent scenery – pristine coastlines, spectacular mountains, frozen lava flows, plunging waterfalls and frolicking whales. An interisland flight on a commuter airline could substitute for a costly aerial tour. Airfares are typically comparable to or less than jet service.

Pros: Frequent direct flights between neighbor island cities, no TSA hassles, killer scenery.

Cons: Small planes make for longer, bumpier rides.

Pro Tip: Ask the captain which side of the plane overlooks the land and sit on that side.

Ferry – No Longer in Service

Update: As of June 30, 2009, the Superferry is sunk. They company  filed for bankruptcy protection in May and now wants to ditch the two high-speed catarmans, leaving Hawaii taxpayers on the hook for a cool $50 million in harbor improvements to accomodate them (read recap of how the Superferry sunk).

Big Centipedes in Hawaii

This centipede was recently on my deck at home in Maui. I measured it at five inches long and one inch wide. This is why is why you never leave clothes on the floor and always check your shoes before putting you feet inside. This sting packs a punch like a large hypodermic needle. Judging the size of its clinchers (back most appendages), I am lucky it was on the railing, not the floor. It’s venomous fangs are located under it’s head, out of view in this photo.

[See another post showing a close-up of big centipede clinchers. And thanks to reader David for sending a link to this image of fangs.]

The tropics support an abundance of life, and centipedes are no exception. Unlike other tropical critters, this creepy crawler is not native to Hawaii. Centipedes were introduced by foreigners, along with a myriad other insects including mosquitoes and house flies. And like other alien and introduced species with no natural predators, they thrive and grow big.

Don’t Forget Your Slippahs

Most locals have stories about centipedes. People wince as they recount memories of painful stings, which many liken to injection with a large hypodermic needle. As a result, we always wear shoes outside, shake out bedding and clothing before use — especially if it’s on or near the floor.

My former housemate once threw a pair of jeans on the floor after he changed into his board shorts for surfing. He came back after ripping up some waves and changed back into his jeans. Unfortunately, he put on the jeans without checking for centipedes.

But in his defense, he had just moved to Hawaii from the Mainland and had never seen one firsthand. A big centipede, like this one on my deck, was inside and stung his leg from thigh to ankle as they battled over who would get out of the jeans first. He ended up in the hospital.

Up and Dry

Centipedes are known to nest in warm, dry areas, meaning that they crawl up during rain. Since we tend to have a lot of rain in Hawaii, especially in windward areas, I regularly find centipedes hiding under tarps, in plant pots and even under my car tires. I learned long ago not to leave pants, shoes, towels or anything else that I put on my body anywhere near the floor.

However, there is good news about centipedes:  they eat cockroaches!

Hawaii Snow Sets Record, Falling at 6,200 Feet

Does it ever snow in Hawaii? Yes and often, but only atop the tallest volcanic mountains. Snow in February 2019 set a record, not for the amount of snow. Instead, the record was for snow at the lowest elevation.

Heavy winter storms in the Pacific often dump snow in Hawaii, specifically, atop the summits of Haleakala (about 10,000 feet) and Mauna Kea (about 14,000 feet). However, Hawaii does not have any ski resorts. Likewise, snow does not fall at the beach.

Meanwhile, residents tracking Hawaii snow have posted many photos and videos on social media. Maui resident, Momi Fortune of Haiku, pulled over to photograph the white peak of Haleakala summit. She snapped the photo attached to this post on February 11, 2019.

Historic Snowfall on Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii. Photo Credit: Momi Fortune

Historic Snowfall

Likewise, Lisa Walsh, a resident of Kula described the February 2019 storm, “This is the most snow I’ve ever seen on Haleakala summit in the 30 years that I’ve lived on Maui. There is snow down below Polipoli State Park [elevation 6,200 feet], which never happens.”

Furthermore, some experts at say that this may be the first snow in Hawaii ever recorded below 6,200 feet in the lower parts of Polipoli state park. reported a similar story about the lowest-ever elevation recorded.

In contrast, snow is more common atop the volcanic mountain summits, where the elevation is much higher. Haleakala summit on Maui and Mauna Kea summit on Hawaii island typically received 3-6 dustings of snow each winter.

Playing in the Snow

Another effect of Hawaii snow is that it attracts people to the volcanic summits to play. Popular snow activities in Hawaii include: Snowboarding, skiing, sledding, and hiking. However, many Hawaii residents lack experience with snow and could get injured or damage precious habitat. For example, people who drive to the summit without a 4WD vehicle are likely to get stuck in the muck.

Further, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reported on February 7, 2019, an incident on Mauna Kea where snowboarders didn’t get hurt. Instead, they damaged a cultural site and endangered habitat.

Finally, learn more about snow in Hawaii from an article entitled “Poli’ahu’s Gift” that I wrote for Hana Hou!. You can also read more about previous reporting on snow storms in Hawaii at the links below:

Lunar New Year Celebrations in Hawaii

Lunar New Year (also called Chinese New Year) celebrations across Hawaii make for good fun and time to relax and enjoy life. People from all cultures and communities enjoy the events. There are parades, candlelight vigils, parties, community gatherings, and most importantly, house cleaning.

2019 Year of the Earth Pig

Lunar New Year in 2019 celebrates the year of the earth pig. This particular animal is very popular as a sign of wealth and abundance. The earth element adds an extra bonus of comfort and prosperity, where literally the pig is in its natural element earth. People ages 84, 72, 60, 48, 36, 24, 12, and new borns are born in years of the pig.

Lunar new year celebration in Lahaina, complete with dragon dance and firecrackers. Courtesy of

Lunar New Year Traditions

Welcoming the lunar new involves a thorough house cleaning. This means getting rid of all of last year’s trash dirt. People literally make space for fresh energy and ideas. Many people also make their homes more safe during the lunar new year. People put away knives and scissors to avoid accidents–a very bad way to start a new year.

People in Hawaii also celebrate lunar new year by preparing their homes. They use symbols to welcome prosperity, health, and abundance. For example, some of these practices include fluffing pillows, putting out a bowl of fresh oranges, setting out sweets, and arranging fresh flowers. Meanwhile, people celebrate lunar new year up to two weeks after the actual astronomical event of the new moon. Therefore, there is plenty of time to make changes, host friends, and welcome new energy.

As lunar new year celebrations continue, people practice special rituals. These include tasting something sweet first thing in the morning. The belief is this invites the energy of sweetness for the year. In addition, people ring bells or pop firecrackers to clear out bad energy. People also avoid cooking right at the new moon to prevent any cuts or burns.