‘Play Imua’ store to launch in Māʻalaea for youngest survivors of Maui wildfires
Imua Family Services has partnered with JAKKS Pacific toy company to launch the “Play Imua” store in response to the harrowing wildfires that have devastated homes and communities across Maui.
The store will open on Sept. 21 in donated space at The Maui Harbor Shops in Māʻalaea. All merchandise will be free to children and families impacted by the wildfires. Children will be able to explore the store and choose a toy that is magical to them.
Keiki have been forced to grapple with the loss of their homes, communities and even loved ones in a dramatic and violent manner, often fleeing for their lives. This collaboration is designed to provide solace, support and a pathway to recovery for the youngest victims of this traumatic event.
“While not all children undergo traumatic stress following a harrowing event, we firmly believe in the potential for recovery,” said Dean Wong, executive cirector at Imua Family Services. “With the proper support and care, many children can adapt and triumph over such experiences.”
JAKKS Pacific shipped a 40-foot container of toys a few days after learning about the wildfires. The company also is donating 5,000 costumes from Disguise, and additional support and donations from friends within the industry. They include: athletic apparel manufacturer Lolë, Next Level Apparel, baby care products from Attindas Hygiene Partners, logistics services from TGR Logistics and JAS Contract Logistics, and logistics from California to Maui from Hecny Group.
“We are saddened by this tragedy that has devastated the community of Lahaina and hope this provides some help to the people of Maui in this trying time,” said Stephen Berman, chairman and CEO of JAKKS Pacific. “It’s hard to imagine the loss these people are experiencing, and we are honored to partner with Imua Family Services to stock this amazing store.”
Key Highlights of the “Play Imua” Store and Childhood Trauma Recovery Efforts:
Addressing Trauma: Imua Family Services recognizes the critical importance of addressing childhood trauma. The “Play Imua” store is a safe space where children and their families can find toys and activities that facilitate the healing process.
Clinical Expertise: Imua Family Services offers access to clinical experts who specialize in childhood trauma and recovery. These professionals provide guidance, counseling, and support to children and families as they navigate their path toward healing.
Community Resilience: The “Play Imua” store serves as a symbol of community resilience, demonstrating how the community can come together to support its most vulnerable members in times of crisis.
Education and Resources: Imua Family Services will offer resources and information to parents and caregivers, helping them understand the signs of trauma in children and how best to provide comfort and support during the recovery process.
Hope and Joy: Through the power of play, children can rediscover hope and joy, even in the face of adversity. JAKKS Pacific’s contribution of free toys and play-based activities will be instrumental in bringing smiles back to these young faces.