After the devastating Maui wildfires, people from all walks of life scrambled to find ways to support the victims. While many felt more comfortable giving to the Hawai’i Red Cross or grassroots organizations, others wanted to donate directly to the people in need. Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson felt that way too, so they created The People’s Fund of Maui, which aims to support the displaced residents of Lahaina as they try to rebuild their lives.
“I have been meeting with people throughout the community that were impacted by the fires over the last few weeks, asking what they most needed and how I could be of service,” Winfrey said in a statement. “The main thing I’ve been hearing is their concern about how to move forward under the immense financial burden. The community has come together in so many wonderful ways, and my intention is to support those impacted as they determine what rebuilding looks like for them.”
Winfrey and Johnson posted a video announcing a donation of $10 million on Instagram, and calling for those who need assistance to apply. The People’s Fund of Maui aims to provide direct relief to individuals in the form of $1,200 monthly payments for as long as possible. The recipients of this fundraiser are individuals who are over the age of 18, reside in Lahaina and Kula, and lost their homes during the fire. “We are beyond grateful to be working alongside esteemed community leaders of Maui to launch the People’s Fund of Maui,” Johnson shared in a statement. “These leaders are offering their guidance to ensure our fund can put money directly in the hands of those individuals most affected.”
Johnson, who is of Samoan heritage and spent some time in Honolulu as a kid, praised first responders and community members who have stepped up to the challenge. “As people around the world watched the catastrophic loss and devastation caused by the Maui wildfires, they also witnessed the great spirit and resilience of our Polynesian culture and the tremendous strength of the people of Maui,” said Johnson. “Even in the most difficult of times, the people of Maui come together, and we rise—that’s what makes us stronger.”
To learn more on how to apply to the fund as a Maui resident, or how to donate to this cause, visit The People’s Fund of Maui's website.
Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson created The People’s Fund of Maui, which aims to support the displaced residents of Lahaina as they try to rebuild their lives.
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