Dear Betsuin Sangha Members and Betsuin Organizations,

I am writing this on August 11th as the destructive wildfires on Maui just happened in the last few days. Unlike most natural disasters that have occurred around the world, this one is personal for me, as my dad, Matsuo Handa, and his sister and 5 brothers were all born and raised in Lahaina before moving to San Jose in the 1950’s. Most of my extended Handa family have vacationed in that area many times so it is like losing a second home.

In addition to the loss of so many homes and businesses, the Lahaina Hongwanji was also affected by the fires as the temple, columbarium, classroom building, and minister’s residence were completely destroyed. Sadly, their Obon festival was scheduled for this weekend (August 12th & 13th).

Please consider helping out in any way you can. Of course you can donate in many ways (like to the American Red Cross), but here are a couple options if you also want to donate through BCA, Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii, or the Betsuin.

The BCA has put in place a disaster relief effort to help support the Lahaina Hongwanji. Donations can be made either:

  1. Online through
  2. By check made payable to BCA Endowment Foundation (note on memo line MAUI RELIEF). Mail checks to BCA Endowment Foundation, 2140 Durant Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704

The Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii has established the MAUI WILDFIRE DISASTER RELIEF FUND. You can donate to this:

  1. Online at by clicking on the “Maui Wildfire Disaster Relief” button under the “Donate” tab.
  2. Through GoFundMe at the following link:
  3. Check and cash donations can be sent directly to Hawaii Kyodan Headquarters. Please make the check payable to HHMH and in the memo line designate “Maui Wildfire Disaster Relief” to ensure proper credit. Mail checks to Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii, 1727 Pali Highway, Honolulu, HI 96813. All donations collected will go to support Lahaina Hongwanji and relief efforts on Maui.

Our Betsuin Disaster Relief Committee will be collecting donations for at least the next few months.

Thank you for any support you can give.

In gassho,

Larry Handa

San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin President