My heart hurts. Genuinely feels pain when I think about Lahaina and the westside of Maui.
It’s been over a week. Nine days exactly.
I’m sure by now you’ve heard the story of what happened last week in Lahaina and the westside of Maui. You’ve seen people’s posts on social media outlets. If you follow me, there’s no way you haven’t seen posts about it - I’ve been posting on my IG stories.
Not only does this hurt my heart because of how much I love Maui, the culture, and history, but more so because I have met some of the most beautiful, genuine souls from Maui.
Maui Jim has a home office in Lahaina. Meaning, I have coworkers, friends that turned into my o’hana, that have been deeply effected by these wildfires. First thing’s first, they (and their families) are safe. Unfortunately, some have lost their belongings, as well as their homes. My heart breaks for them and their families as they try to put the pieces back together. Life will look different for a while, but with the help of so many giving people, we can provide comfort.
My heart breaks for the locals who own businesses, family stores, farms, etc. The people who have made me smoothies or matcha in the morning when I visited. Or the business owners who have welcomed me into their stores, or the Uber drivers who have shared their stories with me, or the servers who work 2-3 jobs to provide for their families. Selfishly, my heart breaks for Maui Jim. Our Lahaina storefront was a special place, not only in my heart, but so many others. While it’s just a building filled with things that can easily be replaced, the history of the building(s) left with them.
A look in the right direction:
Churches businesses, orgs, people are communicating and getting together to help. Locals are donating clothes, food, household and personal care items to those on island.
The rebuilding of Lahaina and the westside of Maui will be a marathon. When the news and media turn to other insignificant stories, don’t forget about Maui.
I’m assuming most of the people who read this, will be from the mainland. It’s easy to feel so helpless, trust me, I’ve been feeling that for the last nine days. I’ve compiled some research, ways to help, and wanted to reiterate some information. I’m using this blog post as a vessel to other websites for people who may feel like me - like I simply can’t do enough to help.
First, there is power in prayer. Whatever you believe in, whether that’s God, or another being of higher power, or the universe; speak positive things into existence for Maui, pray for Maui, journal, manifest. Whatever you resonate with and find is a helpful tool for you to connect with that thing, do it.
I turned to a couple resources that I’m familiar with:
Aloha Ke Akua Co | website | @alohakeakuaco
Maui Hi | @mauihi
Maui Now News | @mauinownews
The Maui News, the Maui Humane Society, Maui Rapids Response
Reiterating Some Info
“If you have plans to come in the next weeks or soon, please postpone your trip. That being said, do not cancel it. Maui businesses need your support more than ever, and the majority of the island is still great to visit. Priority needs to go to rooms, food, and supplies for the displaced.”
On Maui right now?
“Find your way to the airport, grab a cheap ticket to Ohau and enjoy vacation there or head home. We need roads clear, rooms empty, food on shelves, and all locals with free hands using them to take care of those that need help.”
Do not drive in Lahaina!
“Even though it may be open if you have a reservation, you’re nor welcome right now. The only people that should be heading to Lahaina are emergency personnel, organized volunteers, and residents that need to be either reunited with loved ones or checking on their homes/businesses.”
Want to help?
“Head to mauirapidresponse.org for drop off locations, verified online donation sites, and more ways to help.”
^ phenomenal resources for all things donations, safety, support, etc.
I also have the Venmo’s of my coworkers if you are willing to help them in any way! Feel free to message me or text me.
9/1 Update: below are some additional resources I've found:
*Venmo accounts of families who were directly impacted, most have lost everything