Home » Billionaire Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson launch fund for Maui wildfire victims

Billionaire Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson launch fund for Maui wildfire victims

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey and actor Dwayne Johnson have unveiled the People’s Fund of Maui, a relief effort designed to aid individuals impacted by the devastating wildfires on the Hawaiian island.

The initiative was launched by Winfrey, a billionaire, and Johnson, known for his acting roles, in response to the urgent need for assistance in the wake of the destructive blazes.

As part of their commitment to directly support those affected, Winfrey and Johnson have contributed an initial sum of $10 million to inaugurate the fund. They are also appealing to the general public, encouraging contributions to bolster the resources available for aiding families and individuals displaced or adversely affected by the fires.

The People’s Fund of Maui is dedicated to providing immediate financial relief to residents aged 18 and over in the Lahaina and Kula regions. With a monthly disbursement of $1,200, the fund aims to assist in the recovery and rebuilding process for those grappling with the aftermath of the disaster.

Reflecting on the significant impact of the wildfires, Winfrey expressed her commitment to ensuring that every donated dollar directly benefits the affected individuals. She emphasized: “Every dollar that you send is going to go into an account that goes directly to the people.”

The fires have exacted a heavy toll, with the confirmed death count reaching 115 by Wednesday. Additionally, a yet-to-be-determined number of individuals remained unaccounted for, underscoring the extent of the tragedy that has unfolded over the past three weeks. The historic Maui town of Lahaina bore the brunt of the fires, resulting in substantial devastation.

Johnson, reflecting on the challenges faced by the affected communities, acknowledged the severity of the situation and the time it would take to recover. “Just knowing everything that took place, knowing the trauma that has taken place, and knowing that it is going to take a long time to rebuild — probably get a little worse before it gets better. But we’re here, doing what we can do,” he said.

Both Winfrey and Johnson have deep connections to Hawaii. Winfrey is a longtime resident of Maui, and Johnson spent part of his childhood on the island due to his Samoan heritage.

To support the cause, those interested can visit PeoplesFundofMaui.org. The fund holds a certified 501(c)3 charitable service designation, ensuring that all proceeds benefit those suffering from wildfires. The charitable nature of the fund safeguards its purpose and reinforces the commitment to aiding wildfire victims.

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