In the aftermath of the tragic Maui wildfires, community members rallied to aid those affected. While many chose to support established organizations like the Hawai’i Red Cross, there was an intense desire among others to give directly to the victims. Celebrities Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson were among those who shared this sentiment, leading to the establishment of The People’s Fund of Maui. This fund focuses on assisting Lahaina’s displaced residents on their journey to recovery.
Following consultations with affected community members, Winfrey remarked, “The recurring theme was the anxiety about rebuilding amidst the significant financial strain. There’s a heartening unity in the community’s response, and I’m eager to be part of the solution that aids those in the throes of rebuilding.”
Through an Instagram video, Winfrey and Johnson revealed a generous contribution of $10 million to the fund and encouraged eligible victims to apply. Designed to provide immediate assistance, The People’s Fund of Maui offers $1,200 monthly to beneficiaries who are 18 and older, are Lahaina and Kula residents, and have lost their homes to the fire. Expressing gratitude for the collaboration, Johnson said, “We’re honored to team up with Maui’s respected community figures. Their insights are pivotal to ensure the funds reach the truly affected.”
With his roots in the Samoan culture and childhood memories of Honolulu, Johnson acknowledged the relentless efforts of first responders and the undying spirit of the Maui community. “Witnessing the devastation brought by the wildfires was heart-wrenching, but the world also saw the incredible resilience inherent to our Polynesian culture and the indomitable spirit of Maui residents,” he reflected. “In adversity, Maui’s unity shines, fortifying our collective strength.”
Interested individuals can visit their official website for details on applying or contributing to The People’s Fund of Maui