Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson have donated $10 million to help establish a fund that will provide direct cash assistance to Maui residents displaced by catastrophic wildfires that have destroyed hundreds of homes on the island, they said Thursday.
The new voltage is called Maui People’s Fund, is offering payments of $1,200 a month to adults whose homes were destroyed or rendered uninhabitable by wildfires in Lahaina and Kula this month. Help is available to both homeowners and renters, but not to landlords who do not live in homes they own.
The fund aims to “put money directly into the hands of the most affected individuals,” said Johnson, the actor and former wrestler known as “The Rock,” who is of Polynesian descent and grew up for a period in Hawaii. a permit.
“For people to be able to have their own agency, to be able to make decisions for themselves about what they need and what their families need — that’s our goal,” Ms. Winfrey added in an Instagram video. She promised that public donations to the fund would go directly to the victims.
The fund is the latest non-governmental effort to help bushfire survivors. Although FEMA offered survivors an immediate payment of $700 to meet vital needs such as food and water, among other forms of aid, West Maui residents said more that help was needed faster and that dedicated networks of volunteers She was doing more than the federal government. and local agencies.
Many Native Hawaiians and other long-time residents said they fear they may not be able to afford to rebuild their lives on an island that was already suffering from a housing shortage, before wildfires burned more than 2,000 structures and forced thousands of people to take refuge in… emergency shelters.
Some of the workers who keep Maui’s thriving tourism industry going have also been priced out by wealthy buyers from the mainland, including billionaires like Peter Thiel, Jeff Bezos and Ms. Winfrey. She has lived on Maui part-time for more than 15 years, and purchased 870 acres of land in Kula for nearly $6.6 million earlier this year, according to Maui local news site now.
Ms. Winfrey and Mr. Johnson said they created the People’s Fund of Maui with the guidance of community residents and leaders, including prominent singer Kelly Reichel, who was born in Lahaina, Hokulani Holt, a community leader and kumu hula, or hula teacher.
In the days following the wildfires, Ms. Holt led a series of traditional Hawaiian ceremonies seeking spiritual healing for the island. Mrs. Winfrey quietly attended one.
Ed Swanjendar, a Kula resident and head of marketing and community at Airbnb’s nonprofit arm, talent manager Shep Gordon and actor Jason Momoa, who is of Hawaiian descent, helped create the fund, according to the release.
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