Lahaina Strong Raises $60K to Assist Fire Ravaged Community
By Wendy Osher
By Sunday morning, a total of $60,352 had been raised toward a goal of $100,000 to assist families affected by the West Maui fires.
The Lahaina Strong fundraiser was launched by West Maui resident Jordan Ruidas through Facebook.
It is in response to the West Maui fires that charred over 2,300 acres of land and damaged a total of 21 structures and 30 vehicles.
Six of those structures are located near Lahainaluna and the other 15 are are near Launiupoko, including homes on Punakea Loop,Hokiokio and Kauaula Valley.
On Saturday evening, coordinators were asking for donations including: Pop up Tents; Propane tanks; 20×20 tents; 5 gallon buckets; picnic tables; lanterns; tarps; big coolers; tool, shovels, items to clean up and conduct yard work and water proof containers. Those type of donations can be dropped off at Nā’aikāne O Maui, next to tennis courts on front street, at 562A Front Street in Lahaina.
Monetary donations were being accepted through the Lahaina Strong Fundraiser Facebook page.
Organizers say they are assisting families who are now without a home. “Most didn’t even have time to grab a bag. All they have are the clothes on their backs,” according to organizers.
“I am starting this fundraiser to help these families in this time of need. I am still working on getting a complete list of the affected families and their contact information. All donations will be dispersed equally among all families,” said Ruidas.
Ruidas said those assisting are also working on an actual fundraiser event, with a tentative date of Sept. 8th at Waiola Church in Lahaina, where proceeds will also go to affected families.
“I wanted to make this fundraiser for everyone who would love to donate, who don’t live in Hawai’i and would like to donate, or those who won’t be able to attend the actually event and want to donate,” said Ruidas.
Maui Now received multiple inquiries from those who want to help. This is the first of the efforts launched to date being coordinated by community members.