LOCAL NEWS

UVU Pacific Islander Initiative collect donations for Maui victims

Aug 10, 2023, 10:23 PM | Updated: Aug 11, 2023, 5:47 am

OREM, Utah — A Utah Valley University group is collecting a list of household and personal items to send over to Maui, helping those who lost everything start over from scratch.

They’re hoping community members will stop by over the next few days with donations, which will be flown out next week.

On Thursday evening, Hula Kalua-Santiago listed off the basic necessities and comforts of home to a woman outside the Fulton Library on campus. The woman wanted to know what to bring to the booth set up outside.

“Blankets, pillows, clothes,” Kalua-Santiago said. Next to her, another woman wrote “MAUI FIRES” in marker on a poster board, which she hung up near the booth. The two are in the UVU Pacific Islander Initiative and quickly organized the list together for a donation drive.

Kalua-Santiago’s phone rang, and she took a call. She again cited off the list to someone, who wanted to know what to bring.

“Duffel bags, backpacks, because the people don’t have anything to put their stuff in,” she explained.

Kalua-Santiago and other members of the UVU Pacific Islander Initiative from Maui have been watching their friends and family lose the people they love, their homes, and their communities in the devastating fires that ripped through towns like Lahaina.

“I saw a video of Lahaina Harbor on fire and people in the water, and that was scary and intense for me,” Kalua-Santiago said.

Watching on her phone from afar, Kalua-Santiago has been seeing her friends and family on her home island suffer.

“It’s the worst. It’s the worst feeling I can imagine,” Kalua-Santiago expressed, stopping as she got choked up. She began to wipe away tears. “Not being able to find my family, and then not being able to do anything. I can’t go look for somebody. I can’t help a Kupuna [elder] off the bus. I can’t give them the clothes off of my back. I can’t bring them food so far away.”

That’s why Kalua-Santiago and the UVU Pacific Islander Initiative are collecting donations and tangible items to send to Maui.

“The next best thing we can do is really rally together and bring our resources together to help as best as we can. And that’s what we’re doing here,” Kalua-Santiago said.

Here are the items they’re looking for:

  • Non-perishable foods and canned goods
  • Linens
  • Pillows
  • Towels
  • Toiletries
  • Baby necessities
  • Formula
  • Diapers
  • Clothes for ALL ages and sizes

The group will be posted outside the UVU Fulton Library Friday through Monday from morning until evening. The shipment will be loaded onto a United Airlines flight on Tuesday headed for Maui.

Thursday evening, a woman pulled up in a car and began to grab out plastic bags.

“Hi! Welcome,” Kalua-Santiago enthusiastically said, greeting the woman.

The woman walked up and explained she brought clothing. As she did that, the woman who came earlier to ask what items they needed returned with a few bags filled with items.

“There’s kiddie blankets in there,” she told Kalua-Santiago. “That’s perfect. There’s a lot of kids,” Kalua-Santiago replied.

She may not be home to help family in person, but Kalua-Santiago can send them a piece of comfort.

“Even though we’re not home on our islands, on our land, we’re here in Utah,” she said. “We just come right together.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

An apartment went up in flames in West Valley City on July 14, 2024. (Scott Winterton, Deseret News...

Mark Jones

West Valley City apartment fire displaces 30 people; no injuries reported

A large fire has displaced 30 people following a West Valley City apartment fire on Sunday, according to the West Valley City Fire Department.

19 minutes ago

Boyd Matheson follows the latest details after an attempted assassination was made on former Presid...

KSL TV

Sunday Edition: The attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump

Boyd Matheson sits down for a special episode of Sunday Edition following the attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump.

3 hours ago

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall joins Sunday Edition to discuss the International Olympic Comm...

KSL TV

Sunday Edition: Mayor Erin Mendenhall

On the originally scheduled Sunday Edition, SLC Mayor Erin Mendenhall joins the show to discuss the 2034 Olympics and downtown revitalization plans.

6 hours ago

On Saturday, the St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church formally opened its doors as the newest dedicated s...

Brittany Tait

Utah’s newest Greek Orthodox Church ready to welcome worshippers

On Saturday, the St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church formally opened its doors as the newest dedicated sacred space in the valley.  

19 hours ago

Crews in the Ashley National Forest are working to contain a fire on the Flaming Gorge Ranger Distr...

Mark Jones

A new fire near Flaming Gorge Reservoir ignites Saturday

Crews in the Ashley National Forest are working to contain a fire on the Flaming Gorge Ranger District, south of Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

20 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campai...

Mark Jones

Utah leaders react to assassination attempt at Trump rally in Pennsylvania

Former President Donald Trump was rushed off a stage at a Pennsylvania rally Saturday by U.S Secret Service agents after apparent gunshots were heard in the crowd.

22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

UVU Pacific Islander Initiative collect donations for Maui victims