Love for Maui
If you're new to FosterPlease, I'll start by telling you that Maui is home. Maui is where I grew up, learned to surf, learned to sew, where my family and my community is. If you know Hawaii, then you know that every uncle, sister, or cousin doesn't need to mean by blood but its just as much love. Growing up on Maui taught me the importance of your people, the land, and the ocean and has always been my inspiration for creating responsibly.
It’s hard to come up with words for what’s happened here. As I write this, it's been one month since the fires that took Lahaina and parts of Kula. The first few weeks, I took a step back from FosterPlease to focus my energy on helping wherever I could and processing what had happened. Some of my friends lost their houses, their businesses, their livelihood, their lives. I still break down and cry when I think about it all.
Though this has been one of the hardest times of our lives, it has also been filled with an incredible amount of love and support. I don’t know a single person who hasn’t given their time, resources, presence, or anything they can to help each other- even the people that have literally lost everything. Our community has risen up like no other to give, show compassion and aloha during the darkest times for our island.
It’s a long journey to heal and rebuild. We will need each other and others' help for a long time to come. If your'e looking for a way to help now, please consider donating to a non-profit or directly to families who were affected by the fires. Here are some great places to start...
How to Help
A great way to donate directly to the people is through Help Maui Rise and Lahaina Ohana Venmo. They are pages linking you directly to families affected by the fire, a little about them, and their Venmo/ GoFundMe handles. You can know the names of the people who lost so much and who you are helping.
One of my favorite non-profits at the moment helping with the fires is Maui Pono Foundation. Their organizers are all Maui resident volunteers and they have very little overhead. The money they get through their foundation goes directly to families who were affected by the fires in Lahaina and Kula, local businesses, and people who lost their jobs in the form of grants. (See also Artists for Lahaina and Boards for Maui - a project I've helped organize - whose proceeds go to Maui Pono.)
Volunteering is of course another way to help and feel good as you do good. What I have learned in the past fews weeks is that as rewarding as it can be to help, it can also be very heavy depending on what you do and your stage in processing. Make sure you have someone to talk to, that you are getting plenty of rest, and taking care of yourself too. Here are a few ideas of ways to volunteer on or off island..
- Receive shipments, collect, organize, and/or distribute specific donations needed to a family or donation drop-off (like Pacific Birthing Collective or Boards 4 Buddies or Upcountry Strong)
- Provide water, meals, and goods to the community (like with Kula Hub)
- Help clear green waste and plant trees in Kula (Text Kyle (808) 264-3005)
- Create or join a meal train and cook for a family that lost their home
- Deliver meals (like with Hungry Heroes Hawaii)
- Cook meals for displaced families in a commercial kitchen (like with Chef Hui)
- Reach out to an organization that speaks to you and ask how to get involved
- Call your friends, listen, spend time with kids who are processing
- Spread the word for other volunteer opportunities, specific donations needed, or organizations doing good
There are way more ways to help and amazing foundations to donate to that aren't listed here. Stay up to date by doing your own research and following pages that keep you informed on what is needed. Another source I've found for volunteering opportunities that is regularly updated is the Maui Nui Strong Page found here. Mahalo for your help.