Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, African-American and Samoan celebrities, have set up a fund to give those in Hawaii who have suffered because of the Maui wildfires direct financial assistance.
The People’s Fund of Maui has set a goal to provide monthly payments of $1,200 (725760.00 FCFA) to the numerous victims affected by the recent fires that ravaged the island.
The two celebrities generously donated $10 million (6048000000 Billion FCFA) to initiate the fundraiser and are now appealing to the public for additional contributions.
The official death toll currently stands at 115, with many individuals still reported as missing three weeks later.
The funds will be allocated to assist adults whose homes were devastated by the wildfires in Lahaina and Kula on the island of Maui.
Homeowners and renters are eligible for assistance, while owners who do not reside in the affected buildings are not eligible.
The fundraiser stated that the new fund will work closely with a highly regarded advisory board and receive support from the local community and respected elders. Its purpose is to serve as a bridge, providing cash directly to the families and individuals affected. This approach allows the recipients to have personal control over how they use the funds in the way that suits them best.
“Collaborating closely with an esteemed advisory board and support from the local community and respected elders, this new fund will serve as a bridge to provide cash directly to the families and individuals affected so that they can personally determine how best to use the funds for themselves,” it said.
In an Instagram video with The Rock, Winfrey said, “People being able to have their own agency, being able to make decisions for themselves about what they need and what their family needs – that’s our goal,”
The Rock expressed that even during the most challenging moments, the people of Maui unite and overcome, which ultimately strengthens us as a community.
“Even in the most difficult of times, the people of Maui come together, and we rise – that’s what makes us stronger,” he said.
We are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to collaborate with esteemed community leaders of Maui in order to launch the People’s Fund of Maui. These leaders are providing their guidance to ensure that our fund can effectively distribute money directly to the individuals who have been most affected.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has provided an initial payment of $700 to address immediate needs. However, numerous individuals have expressed concerns that this amount is insufficient to support long-term recovery efforts.
Winfrey resides part-time in Maui, while The Rock spent his childhood in Hawaii and has Samoan heritage.