Lahaina resource fair aims to help Filipinos impacted by Maui fires
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Filipino community advocates from across the state are offering hope and solidarity for survivors of the Maui wildfires through a special event next weekend.
The Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce and the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii are organizing a supportive resource fair “Hawak Kamay,” which means “Hand in Hand,” on Sept. 23rd from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Lahaina Civic Center.
Organizers say residents can get free support, food and supplies in a safe and comfortable space from volunteers who speak Tagalog, Ilocano and Bisayan.
The Philippine Consulate of Honolulu will be on site to help individuals replace lost documents destroyed in the fire, such as passports.
Filipino lawyers will be on hand to answer legal and financial questions, and counselors will offer mental health services.
There will also be a keiki corner, free massages, therapy pets and plants, and “kwentuhan” talk story tables.
Agencies providing disaster relief services are strongly encouraged to come and show support for the Filipino community, which makes up nearly half the residents in Lahaina. Many work in the hospitality industry, which was also devastated by the wildfire. For organizations wanting to support, visit bit.ly/hawakkamay.
In a news release, Dominic Suguitan, president of the Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce, said the event aims to help those trying to recover and heal from such a traumatizing experience.
“We understand the massive scale of profound losses our community is going through so we want to give our best effort to reach out and remind families that we are here,” Suguitan said. “We also recognize that everyone heals at a different pace, so we want to ready our network of agencies to assist in the long recovery process.”
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