Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson, two prominent figures in the entertainment industry, have come together to create the People's Fund of Maui. This relief initiative aims to offer direct cash assistance to the residents of Maui who were displaced by the catastrophic wildfires that destroyed hundreds of homes on the island. The devastating wildfires, which occurred in the Lahaina and Kula areas this month, have left many families without shelter and resources.
The People's Fund of Maui will provide $1,200 per month to adults whose homes were either destroyed or rendered uninhabitable by the wildfires. This assistance is available to both homeowners and renters, but not to property owners who do not reside in their owned properties. The goal of the fund is to "put money directly in the hands of those individuals most affected," according to Dwayne Johnson, also known as "The Rock." Oprah Winfrey, through a video on Instagram, emphasized the importance of allowing individuals to make decisions for themselves and their families in this difficult time.
The fund is a response to the urgent need for aid in the aftermath of the wildfires. While the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) did offer survivors immediate financial assistance for critical needs, residents of West Maui expressed the need for faster and more comprehensive help. Ad hoc networks of volunteers have been filling the gaps left by federal and local agencies. Many Native Hawaiians and long-time residents fear that they may not be able to afford rebuilding their lives on an island that was already facing a housing shortage. The wildfires destroyed over 2,000 structures and forced thousands into emergency shelters.
In addition to their personal contributions of $10 million, Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson are calling on the public to contribute to the People's Fund of Maui. They have promised that every dollar donated will directly benefit the people affected by the wildfires. The fund has been created in collaboration with community residents and leaders, including prominent singer Keali?"i Reichel, who was born in Lahaina, and H??k?"lani Holt, a community leader and hula teacher. Other notable figures, such as talent manager Shep Gordon, actor Jason Momoa, and Ed Suwanjindar, head of marketing and community for Airbnb's nonprofit arm, have also played a role in establishing the fund.
Both Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson have personal connections to Hawaii. Winfrey has been a part-time resident of Maui for over 15 years and recently acquired 870 acres of land in Kula. Johnson, who is of Samoan descent, lived in Hawaii during his childhood. Their involvement in this relief effort demonstrates their commitment to the community and their desire to alleviate the suffering caused by the wildfires.
To contribute to the People's Fund of Maui, individuals can visit the website PeoplesFundofMaui.org. This fund is a certified 501(c)3 charitable service, ensuring that all proceeds will directly benefit those who have suffered due to the wildfires. The initiative provides hope for the residents of Maui as they work towards rebuilding their lives and communities in the face of immense adversity.