Oprah, The Rock team up to launch $10M fund for displaced Maui residents
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In wake of the devastating Maui wildfires, two of the biggest celebrities on earth with Hawaii ties are teaming up to help Maui.
Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson have created a fund called the “People’s Fund of Maui” to put money directly in the hands of residents who were displaced and affected by the Maui wildfires.
Organizers say the fund is launching with an initial $10 million donated by Winfrey and Johnson.
And people from all over the world can contribute to the fund with a donation.
The fund was collaborated closely with an esteemed advisory board and support from the local community and respected elders.
Displaced residents who lost their homes to the Lahaina and Kula wildfires are eligible to receive $1,200 per month. This includes homeowners and renters.
Organizers say this does not include property owners not living in the residence.
Applicants must be 18 years or older and be able to provide proof of residence for their lost or uninhabitable residence by providing a government-issued photo ID and one utility bill in their name.
“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,” said Oprah Winfrey. “The main thing I’ve been hearing is their concern about how to move forward under the immense financial burden.”
Winfrey says that her intention is to support those impacted as they “determine what rebuilding looks like for them.”
“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.”
The creation of the fund was done with guidance, insights, and the blessing of community elders, leaders and residents, including Hōkūlani Holt-Padilla, Keali’i Reichel, Archie Kalepa, Ekolu Lindsey, Kimo Falconer, Tiare Lawrence, Kaimana Brummel, Kaleikoa Ka’eo, Brian Keaulana, Kaimi Kaneholani, Henohea Kāne, Paele Kiakona, Ed Suwanjindar, Shep Gordon and Jason Momoa.
The Rock also extended his gratitude to the first responders, local organizations and community members who’ve aided in the response efforts.
For those who are unable to apply online, a People’s Fund of Maui Assistance Center will be open from Sept. 8 to Sept. 11 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the Westin Maui in Kaanapali.
Organizers say they will disburse monthly payments every 30 days as long as members of the community are still in need and as long as the funds last.
To contribute to People’s Fund of Maui, click here.
If you are an impacted resident and would like to apply to receive funds, click here.
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