Locals get help directly to Maui by creating donation list
Aug 16, 2023, 11:10 PM | Updated: Aug 17, 2023, 10:25 am
SALT LAKE CITY — Bailey Honda says his family lost their home in Lahaina, Hawaii.
Honda decided the quickest way to get people out there help would be to send it to them directly. That’s why they’re one of now about 1,000 fundraisers on the growing list.
A drive through the neighborhood you grew up in should never go like this.
“Every tree, every branch was burned,” Honda said.
He’s just grateful he and his parents got out alive.
“We were just piling up duffel bags full of clothes,” he said. “It was very hard. We had to sleep in our cars the first night and always struggling to find a place to live in and even so we couldn’t do anything much with power and no service, no internet.”
He returned two days later.
“It looked like a bomb dropped off,” he said. “It looked like a warzone. Walking through it felt like a horror movie.”
That home, the porch bench he used to sit on with his sisters, it’s all gone.
“Just all of those cinder blocks out there, just all the tiles standing up, that’s it.”
But out of the ashes, Honda says hope is rising. The community spirit of Lahaina is strong he says.
“People really understand that we have each others’ backs,” Honda said. “We have received countless amounts of help without even asking from the community, from even other islands.”
But they’ll need your help too. Not just now, but in the years it will take to rebuild. That’s partly why The Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action has compiled what they call Help Maui Rise, where you can search for your “ohana” — your loved ones — to help them directly. The Bailey Honda family fundraiser.
“We can’t just have people helping out for a week and say ‘I’ve done my part,’ and ‘let’s just move on with life.’ These people are going to be dealing with this for a long time.”
They will need support that needs to reach across ocean waters.
“I mean you hear this word go around the whole entire world; ‘aloha.'”
The hope is that through burned neighborhoods, they can feel a united resolve to rebuild. Despite the unimaginable loss that the people lost in this fallen town.
“They’re still standing and they need that help,” Honda said.
Honda is in Utah as he heads back to Brigham Young University.