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BCA Launches Relief Efforts to Aid Maui

The Buddhist Churches of America (BCA) and its Social Welfare Committee have launched Maui relief efforts in full support of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii (HHMH) in response to the deadly wildfires that decimated the town of Lahaina.


Donations can be made online through: https://bca.kindful.com/, or by check payable to: BCA Endowment Foundation (Please note on memo line: Maui Relief). Mail checks to: BCA Endowment Foundation, 2140 Durant Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704.


The BCA and HHMH are affiliated organizations and are a part of Jodo Shinshu Buddhist organizations based at the Hongwanji-ha in Kyoto, Japan.


“We watched with great sadness and horror the loss of life and destruction of homes and communities in Maui because of the devastating wildfires,” said BCA Bishop Rev. Marvin Harada. “Our thoughts go to all there who have lost loved ones, homes, businesses, temples and churches, and their community.

“In the face of such devastation, we will all do what we can do, whether it is to contribute to the disaster relief, or to share our support, or for those in Maui, to help them begin to rebuild, one step at a time, doing what they can do.”


The wildfires in Maui, which struck on Aug. 8, have led to at least 115 deaths as of Aug. 28, making it the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century. Nearly 400 people are still reported missing.


The winds from Hurricane Dora that fueled the wildfires destroyed or damaged nearly 3,000 structures in West Maui, including the HHMH’s Lahaina Hongwanji Mission.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has estimated the destruction from the Maui wildfires will cost about $6 billion.


According to a letter dated Aug. 10 from the HHMH, Lahaina Hongwanji Mission’s temple, classroom building, and minister’s residence “were completely destroyed in the horrific fires that devastated historic Lahaina town. Many temple members were forced to evacuate, and many homes were burnt to the ground.”


The Lahaina Hongwanji Mission’s Nokotsudo building was still standing after the wildfires, but it’s too early to tell if there was any damage to the building, according to HHMH President Warren Tamamoto.


The HHMA listed the following ways that people can donate: online at www.hongwanjihawaii.com by clicking on the “Maui Wildfire Disaster Relief” button under the “Donate” tab; a GoFundMe account at the following link: https://gofund.me/ff77a520.


Check and cash donations can be sent to the HHMH. Make the check payable to HHMH and in the memo line designate “Maui Wildfire Disaster Relief” to ensure proper credit.


The address is: Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii, 1727 Pali Highway,

Honolulu, HI 96813.


The American Buddhist Study Center in New York has set up a GoFund me page for the Lahaina Hongwanji Mission Temple at: https://gofund.me/bf668ff1


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