Rainbow Helicopters’ remarkable efforts to assist mothers and babies affected by Maui fires
AUG • 2023
Rainbow Helicopters supports mothers and babies with critical supplies airlifted to the Maui fire zone.
Amid the aftermath of the catastrophic wildfires that engulfed Lahaina, Maui on August 8th and 9th, a story of empathy and unity emerges. The historic town of Lahaina lay in ruins after the inferno, catching many residents off-guard due to the rapid escalation of the disaster. Rainbow Helicopters mobilized their helicopter tour company to provide vital supplies to the Maui fire victims, with a specific emphasis on aid for mothers and babies.
A helping hand for mothers and babies
CEO and founder of Rainbow Helicopters Nicole Battjes, a mother herself, recognized the vulnerable situation of mothers and infants, leading her to coordinate a relief effort that has garnered significant backing. Nicole Battjes conveyed her deep personal impact by stating, “As you know, I have an 8-week-old and a 2-year-old, and this hit me really hard to see Mom’s in need of essential items!” This sentiment resonated profoundly, prompting her to mobilize her company’s resources and efforts towards supplying critically needed items for mothers and infants affected by the wildfires. Rainbow Helicopters initiated coordinated missions to airlift essential goods directly to Lahaina, with a focus on providing baby formula, diapers, wipes, and other necessities to the women and children who were left with nothing.
The collaborative effort
Rainbow Helicopters’ relief initiative has seen collaboration from various places. The company itself, alongside dedicated staff, donated flights and countless man-hours, while Castle and Cooke Aviation chipped in by contributing the fuel required for the missions. The cooperation extended beyond corporate boundaries, as women’s groups from both Oahu and Maui joined hands to contribute essential items for the cause. The collaboration underscores the unity and compassion that the disaster has ignited among communities across Hawaii.
The success of Rainbow Helicopters’ relief operation rests upon the commitment of numerous individuals. The company’s Chief Pilot, Joshua Melaccio, General Manager, Susan Kim, and Director of Maintenance, Mike Iven, played pivotal roles in ensuring the seamless execution of the initiative. Their dedication and diligent efforts played a crucial role in the successful completion of each flight. Furthermore, Rainbow Helicopters’ Director of Operations on Maui, Matthew Frisbie, has worked tirelessly day and night since the fires began, reflecting the unwavering resolve of the team towards the cause.
Hope amidst the devastation
Since the initiation of the relief efforts, Rainbow Helicopters has conducted multiple flights, delivering over 2,500 pounds of essential supplies to Lahaina. These supplies include not only baby formula and diapers but also feminine hygiene products, underscoring the organization’s commitment to addressing the needs of mothers and babies. The helicopters carrying these supplies soared above the charred landscape, emblazoned with a bright rainbow design symbolizing a ray of hope amidst the devastation.
Rainbow raises over $65k through GoFundMe
The surge of support from individuals and organizations alike has been heartening. A GoFundMe page was established by Rainbow Helicopters to raise funds for the relief efforts. The response has been overwhelming, with donations exceeding the initial goal of $25,000. These contributions underscore the collective empathy and willingness of people to step up in solidarity with affected communities in times of crisis. 100% of donations will go towards supplies and do not go towards flight costs, fuel or any resources donated by Rainbow Helicopters.
Gearing up for rebuilding
As the Maui fires’ consequences continue to unfold, the focus remains unwavering – extending aid and support to the affected individuals. Rainbow Helicopters’ endeavors, driven by the spirit of compassion, have become a beacon of hope for Lahaina. As Nicole Battjes succinctly puts it, “We have stuff that they need, and I have the vehicles to get them to those people, and that feels good.” This sentiment encapsulates the ethos of the relief operation – one of selflessness, resilience, and a shared commitment to helping the community.
Rainbow Helicopters’ unwavering dedication to assisting mothers and babies affected by the Maui wildfires shines as a testament to the indomitable spirit of compassion. Through the collaboration of diverse groups, the tireless efforts of the team, and the generosity of donors, the relief initiative has provided a glimmer of hope in a time of darkness. As the arduous process of rebuilding begins, the legacy of Rainbow Helicopters’ efforts will stand as a reminder of the potency of empathy and unity in the face of adversity.
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