Wildfire relief fund on Maui was started by Oprah and the Rock.

Wildfire relief fund on Maui was started by Oprah and the Rock.

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Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson have started a relief fund with an initial donation of $10 million (£7.9 million) to help the residents of Maui recover from the devastating wildfires that swept through the island in the United States.

The Hollywood couple has organized the People’s Fund Of Maui, through which aid will be distributed “directly” to those who lost everything in the Lahaina fires.

After hearing about the success of country music legend Dolly Parton’s My People Fund, which was established to benefit victims of the 2016 wildfires in Sevier County, Tennessee, TV personality and part-time resident Winfrey was inspired to start her own fund to help those in need.

With the help of US actor Johnson, Winfrey sent a video to Instagram in which she expressed her want to ensure that donations would reach “the hands of Lahaina residents” rather than a middleman.

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She explained: “We were so concerned about what was happening in Maui that we were texting back and forth and I read this article that Dolly Parton had given money in her community and I said ‘I think this is the answer.’”In order to get aid to those who need it most, we established the People’s Fund of Maui. We promise that 100% of all donations received will be distributed to affected Maui citizens.

“I know a lot of people out there, as Oprah and I have been finding, are having a hard time trusting where the money goes,” concluded Johnson, who provided the voice for the demigod Maui in the Disney picture Moana.Because the most pressing need in the wake of calamities such as these is cash on hand, this method of transferring aid is efficient and expeditious.

For Winfrey, “getting that to the people now” meant “people being able to have their own agency, to be able to make decisions for themselves about what they need and what their family needs.”
All Californians over the age of 18 who have lost their “primary residence” in the wildfires are eligible to apply for monthly payments of $1,200 from the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s relief fund.

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