Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson have set up a charitable fund to distribute cash to those displaced by the devastating wildfires on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
The People’s Fund of Maui is launching with an initial $10 million (£7.9 million) donation from Winfrey and Johnson. Every adult resident over the age of 18 who lives in the affected area of Lahaina and Kula is eligible to receive $1,200 (£950) per month while the island recovers.
“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 has a home on Maui, said in a statement. “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, and my intention is to support those impacted as they determine what rebuilding looks like for them.”
The Black Adam star, who spent part of his childhood in Hawaii and has Pacific Islander heritage, added: “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 of times, the people of Maui come together, and we rise – that’s what makes us stronger.”
Officially, at least 115 people died in the wildfires, which devastated communities in Maui in August, but hundreds more are thought to be unaccounted for. The natural disaster is the most deadly wildfire to occur in the U.S. for more than a century.
Explaining how the fund would work, Johnson continued: “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.”
– Cover Media