Oprah Winfrey & Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Donate $10 Million To Launch Maui Wildfire Relief Fund That Will Grant Affected Adults A $1,200 Monthly Stipend
Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson have joined forces to provide assistance to Maui in the wake of tragedy.
On Thursday, Aug. 31, the entertainers announced their new initiative, People’s Fund of Maui, which will aid those affected by the island’s recent wildfires.
As previously covered, earlier this month (Aug. 8), Hawaii underwent one of (what’s now deemed) “the deadliest wildfires in history,” causing over 100 deaths and thousands of evacuations.
According to reports, the horrifying event dismantled the majority of Lahaina, a town known for its rich history, with 2,700+ structures destroyed.
6,000 people are said to be living in hotels and Airbnb locations. Unfortunately, fallen victims are still being identified.
When speaking of the impact of the devastating occurrence, Hawaii Gov. Josh Green told an outlet,
“There are more fatalities that will come. The fire was so hot that what we find is the tragic finding that you would imagine as though a fire has come through and it’s hard to recognize anybody.”
In a lawsuit, officials of Maui County blamed “intentional and malicious mismanagement of power lines by Hawaiian Electric” for the catastrophic blaze.
Although the lines ignited an early-morning fire on the day of Aug. 8, Hawaiian Electric is assuming no responsibility for the mid-day flames, as they claim there wasn’t any evidence to support that theory.
An exact cause hasn’t been determined, but there is suspicion that high winds from Hurricane Dora could’ve brought a risk.
A Commander General of the Hawaii Army National Guard, Kenneth Hara, said of the matter,
“We don’t know what actually ignited the fires, but we were made aware in advance by the National Weather Service that we were in a red flag situation. So, that’s dry conditions for a long time, so the fuel, the trees and everything, was dry.”
“[That] set the conditions for wildfires.”
Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson kicked off their disaster relief program with a $10 million donation. Adults (18+) whose shelter has been compromised due to Lahaina/Kula wildfires will be eligible to receive a $1,200 monthly payment during the recovery period.
Speaking of the aid, Winfrey expressed in a statement,
“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. The main thing I’ve been hearing is their concern about how to move forward under the immense financial burden. The community has come together in so many wonderful ways.”
“My intention is to support those impacted as they determine what rebuilding looks like for them.”
“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. Even in the most difficult times, the people of Maui come together, and we rise. That’s what makes us stronger!”
In closing, Johnson 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 out fund can put money directly in the hands of those individuals most affected.”
To learn more about the People’s Fund of Maui, visit www.peoplesfundofmaui.org.
The Jasmine Brand extends our deepest prayers out to everyone recovering from the Maui wildfires.