The $10 million effort was announced on Winfrey’s social media this Thursday, where Winfrey and Johnson cited singer-songwriter Dolly Parton as their inspiration for creating the fund. The duo also called on others to contribute towards relief efforts.
“I have been meeting with people throughout the community who were impacted by the fires over the last few weeks, asking what they most needed and how I could be of service,” Oprah shared on her website Oprah Daily. “The main thing I kept hearing was their concern over how to move forward under the immense financial burden of rebuilding their life. The community has come together in so many wonderful ways, and my intention is to support those impacted as they determine what rebuilding looks like for them.”
According to the announcement, adult residents who were affected and displaced by the wildfires in Lahaina and Kula are eligible to receive $1,200 per month during recovery. The fund plans to direct the relief funds directly towards those in need, USA Today reported.
The People’s Fund of Maui joins similar relief funds, such as the Kako‘O Maui Match Donation Fund, that aim to support the local Maui community.
“As people around the world watched the catastrophic loss and devastation caused by the Maui wildfires, they also witnessed the great spirit and resilience of our Polynesian culture and the tremendous strength of the people of Maui,” Johnson said in Thursday’s announcement. “Even in the most difficult of times, the people of Maui come together, and we rise – that’s what makes us stronger.”
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