Maui group turns to social media to connect donors with displaced families
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A determined group is working hard to make sure monetary donations go directly to those who need it most on Maui.
Shannon Ii was one of the many people who lost their home in the Lahaina wildfires last Tuesday.
She says there has been a small glimmer of hope recently. She’s received thousands of dollars in financial support from an unexpected place, Venmo.
The cash app that lets people send money directly to each other on their phone.
“It gives me hope that maybe I will survive another day,” said Ii.
It’s all because of a group of Maui residents who formed an Instagram handle called Lahaina Ohana Venmo. People affected are posted with their Venmo accounts that people can scan and donate directly to them.
“We don’t know where all the funds are going to go with the big donation sites. I’m sure it will go to the families somewhere but it will take time,” said Tiare Lawrence, one of the organizers.
Organizers with Lahaina Ohana Venmo say they understand there are scammers out there.
That’s why they’re vetting each person.
Since starting last week, there are now over 200 posts with thousands of dollars donated to families affected.
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