According to the fund, adult residents in Lahaina and Kula who were affected by the wildfires are eligible to receive $1,200 per month to help them recover from the disaster.
Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson are using their star power to help displaced Maui residents. The duo has committed $10 million to make direct payments to people in Maui who are unable to return to their homes because of the wildfires through the fund. In an Instagram video, Oprah explained that she and The Rock were texting back and forth about how they could help and said they were inspired by Dolly Parton for their new effort. A similar fund was set up by the iconic country singer and philanthropist after wildfires swept through Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in December 2016. The disaster ended up killing 14 people and destroying 2,400 structures, reports Billboard.
Winfrey, who lives in Maui part-time, visited an emergency shelter on the island in the days after the wildfire hit. She now wants to do everything to help. “I have been meeting with people throughout the community that were impacted by the fires over the last few weeks, asking what they most needed and how I could be of service,” Winfrey, who owns a home on the island, said according to Access. “The main thing I’ve been hearing is their concern about how to move forward under the immense financial burden.” According to the fund, adult residents in Lahaina and Kula who were affected by the wildfires are eligible to receive $1,200 per month to help them recover from the disaster.
The caption of the Instagram video also revealed how people can contribute. "As we have seen firsthand, the impacts of these wildfires have been devastating, and we’re here to ensure with 100% guarantee that your donations will go directly into the hands of Lahaina residents. Every adult resident who lives in the affected area and was displaced by the wildfires in Lahaina and Kula is eligible to receive $1200 per month to help them through this period of recovery. All you have to do is go to PeoplesFundofMaui.org to apply. We are honored to start this campaign with $10 million dollars and ask for your help in donating to those who have lost their homes. We thank you in advance for your contribution," it reads.
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Winfrey and Johnson reportedly consulted with community elders, leaders and residents including Hōkūlani Holt-Padilla, Keali’i Reichel, Archie Kalepa, Ekolu Lindsey, Kimo Falconer, Tiare Lawrence, Kaimana Brummel, Kaleikoa Ka’eo, Brian Keaulana, Kaimi Kaneholani, Henohea Kāne, Paele Kiakona, Ed Suwanjindar, Shep Gordon and Jason Momoa. They hope the fund will continue to make transfers to qualifying residents for at least six months. The Rock also referenced his own Samoan heritage as he spoke about the importance of coming together to help as a community. Johnson noted in the press release that while the world was watching the wildfires, they also "witnessed the great spirit and resilience of our Polynesian culture and the tremendous strength of the people of Maui."
"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 beyond grateful to be working alongside esteemed community leaders of Maui to launch the People's Fund of Maui. These leaders are offering their guidance to ensure our fund can put money directly in the hands of those individuals most affected."
To contribute proceeds that will go directly to those impacted by the wildfires, click here.