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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Local businesses cancel Maui donation drive after influx of contributions

A missing persons poster is tacked to a tree at an emergency aid distribution point following last week’s wildfire in Napili-Honokowai, on the Hawaiian island of Maui, on Monday, Aug. 14, 2023. (Max Whittaker/The New York Times)  (MAX WHITTAKER)

A donation drive scheduled Thursday for fire victims in Maui has been canceled after an outpouring of support maxed out storage space for new donations.

Pono Lei, Hapa Catering, Kokua Beach Volleyball Club, Pacific Islanders Association and Veda Lux planned two drive donations for people in Maui.

The first drive on Tuesday at Browns Park collected more than expected, and the businesses no longer have any space for more donations. Thursday’s was scheduled to take place at Veda Lux.

“We weren’t expecting so many people to show up the first day, but we’re at full capacity now,” said Summer Hightower, owner of Veda Lux, a Spokane vintage boutique. “So, it’s a great thing, it’s amazing.”

The drive collected around seven truckloads of donations. However, Alaska Airlines did not have enough space for all of the donations. The first two truckloads were accepted, and the second two were turned away.

Another issue is storage units in Hawaii running out of space, according to Leanna Esperas, owner of Pono Lei.

The businesses plan to reschedule the drive once there is more space for donations. The local businesses are looking for other solutions to send relief supplies to Maui.

Money donations can still be made. One of the best ways to contribute is through donating miles. Go to to do so.

Alaska Airlines also recommends donation made to its nonprofit partners, like Airlink at Partners can make sure the appropriate gear is acquired and shipped properly.

By Aug. 9, the airline had already delivered 120,000 pounds of donations to those in need, according to Alaska Airlines Newsroom.

Samantha Fuller's reporting is part of the Teen Journalism Institute, funded by Bank of America with support from the Innovia Foundation.