Immediately following the Maui wildfires, Pacific Whale Foundation and PacWhale employees worked together to understand, meet, and advocate for community needs. In this time of coming together in an “all hands on deck” response, a new Pacific Whale Foundation and PacWhale Department was born. We’re proud to share our new, hard-working PWF Outreach Team.
The Outreach Team
Meet the wonderful Outreach Team!
Immediately following the Maui wildfires, Pacific Whale Foundation and PacWhale employees worked together to meet the community needs in Maui. Staff worked together to create a donation center, which they named the ‘Ohana Center in their Māʻalaea headquarters as a staging area for donations as they flooded in from employees, community members, and the mainland. Supplies were then loaded onto PacWhale vessels and transported to beaches in Kāʻanapali for distribution to those in immediate need of essentials on the west side of the island.
As roads opened and Lāhainā fire survivors made their way to shelters and new residences across the island, PWF continued to staff the ‘Ohana Center daily to allow community members to browse items and take what they needed as donations of goods continued to flow into the island. Since the end of September, the newly formed PWF Outreach team has worked with the various hubs across the island to distribute items still needed directly from the ‘Ohana center, and delivered supplies to shelters across the island.
The ‘Ohana center closed at the end of October, all remaining supplies were donated to the hubs or the local homeless shelters and Hawaiʻi Animal Rescue Foundation. The Outreach team continues to supply the west side hubs by sourcing new items that are needed utilizing funds from the Community Relief Fund. The outreach team extends a huge mahalo nui to everyone who donated to the PWF Community Relief Fund and/or volunteered their time to support this work.
PWF will continue to provide support to those affected by the Maui wildfires in the long term and ask for your support in this through donations to the PWF Community Fund.
Menehune Water Delivery Project
One of the lasting impacts of the fire devastation has been the loss of safe drinking water in parts of Lahaina and Kula that were near the burn zone. For the past few months, as the county has been working to test and restore potable water to these communities, PWF has worked to facilitate delivery of 5-gallon jugs of clean water to households in need. Thanks to this effort, to date PWF has helped 36 individuals and four animals have access to safe drinking water, as well as saved 2,166 plastic water bottles from entering our waste stream on Maui.
Keiki Pop-Up events
One of the major components of PWF’s new outreach team is outreach events for our local keiki impacted by the Maui wildfires. PWF education specialists Lauren, Lei, and Nicole have taken the lead in developing and launching pop-up keiki events for our local community. These events are designed to allow our keiki to relax, have fun, and connect with other kids in the community. Additionally, these events are intended to provide childcare relief to parents as they attend community meetings and navigate life post-fire. Many thanks to everyone who donated to the Maui Community Relief Fund that makes these programs possible, and we look forward to providing more keiki outreach events and pop-ups in the coming months. If you would like to be the first to know about scheduled PWF keiki events, please sign up for our Keiki Programs Alerts, and if you would like to support these events going forward, please donate to the Maui Community Relief Fund.