"The concept of ʻohana involves creating loving relationships with more than just blood relatives. Embracing ʻohana means developing a sense of familial care and devotion to all members of the human family."
Our beloved Maui. Known for her beautiful beaches, sweeping valleys, and lush green forests, visitors come from all over the world to experience her majesty. But for those lucky enough to live on her ‘Āina, it’s the aloha spirit of the people and the sense of ‘Ohana that make her home.
Right now, thousands of those people have been displaced due to the recent fires in Lahaina and Upcountry. But even the word “displaced” falls short. For those impacted, there are some things that can never be replaced. Family that will forever be missed, Friends that will never be found, Pets that will never come home. Although there is nothing that could ever ease the pain of losing a loved one, there are steps that we as a community can take to help those impacted put their lives back together.
We have formed the 'Ohana Guardians Group to connect displaced individuals and families to people who are willing and able to provide immediate financial assistance as they navigate what's to come. This will be a group effort, as the road ahead will be long and challenging. But if we all come together, we can play a part in supporting our Maui ‘Ohana.
What is a Guardian?
Anyone can be a Guardian. A Guardian is a volunteer who we will connect directly to an 'Ohana or individual in need. A Guardian can also choose to take on more than one 'Ohana if willing and able. They will then reach out to their personal friends and family and encourage them to make donations directly to the 'Ohana. We are hoping to use the power of exponential networking and one degree of separation to extend our reach. For more information on the role of a Guardian, click here to view a sample of our Guardian Kit.
What is an OGG 'Ohana?
An OGG 'Ohana is an individual or family that has been impacted by the Lahaina and Upcountry fires on Maui. We are working from a verified list of families, individuals, and businesses, making sure our Guardians are linked directly to real people in need. As volunteers, we are trying to reach and help as many people as we can. If you or someone you love is in need of assistance, make sure to fill out our form and a member of our team will contact you as quickly as possible.
How It Works
It's really very simple. An 'Ohana Guardian will be directly connected with an 'Ohana. The Guardian will then receive information regarding their 'Ohana's story, contact info, and preferred payment method.
From there, it will be up to the Guardian to share within their circles and social platforms, encouraging their friends and colleagues to donate directly to their assigned 'Ohana. We want to reiterate that no donations will go through OGG. Donations will go directly from the donors to their designated 'Ohanas. And as you spread the word, the donations will grow!
With your help, we as a community can work together NOW to give families the immediate assistance they need. Because at the end of the day, it is our 'Ohana that make up the Maui we know and love.
After Guardianship is established, each Guardian will receive:
A packet of details, recommendations, and instructions on how to proceed
Any Information about their ‘ohana that has been shared with us
A Copy and paste introduction to send to contacts explaining the role of a Guardian
Instructions on how to post to social media platforms that will link (or tag) OGG
We encourage our Guardians to initiate personal communication with their assigned ‘ohanas. Most ‘ohana’s may already have set up a donation fund site. A Guardian will ask the ‘ohana for their preferred method of donation. With this information, your networking can begin.
We are working from referrals and verified sources to identify ‘ohana groups or individuals overwhelmed by the layers of loss. This is a program that hopefully will expand and gain momentum organically.
These people have been through the most traumatic experience of their lives. Help us let them know we care.
My family has deep roots in Hawaii dating back to 1883; four generations later, Maui is anchored in my soul. I started my interior design business, Swan Interiors, in 1985 and have been fortunate to design homes with wonderful clients that share my love of Maui. I have been devoted to bringing people within the community together, forming liaisons and alliances that encourage community involvement. The power of connection speaks to me as a way to effect change in a positive way.
I moved to Lahaina in 1990 to become the minister for the Center for Spiritual Living, thinking I'd be here for 3 years. But here I am still on Maui 33 years later, and I can't imagine calling anywhere else home. In 1991, I established “I Do Weddings” based out of Ka’anapali, and I estimate I have married over 3,000 couples here. My ministry now involves providing spiritual counseling, leading intention circles, and I'm currently enrolled in Nā Keiki O Emalia to provide grief support for our Keiki (Children). What affects part of our island community affects us all and many people doing a little bit can manifest great results.
Born and raised on the island of Maui, this project is very near and dear to my heart. I currently live in Georgia where I act and own a Furniture Design business, MissFlips Furniture, and was there when I found out about the fires. Days later, I flew out to do what I could to help the community that raised me. I am proud to be working along side my Mother, Godmother, and Hānai Sister to get help to those in need in these complicated and challenging times. My heart will forever go out to the people of Maui.
Other than living on Oahu to attend UH Manoa, Maui has been the only home I've ever known. After moving back, I became the Manager of Territorial Savings Bank in Lahaina, quickly finding a home to know and love within the Lahaina community. I consider myself lucky to be part of the fortunate few that still have employment, but being displaced is no easy feat. It is my goal to use the resources at my disposal to help others who are less fortunate so that we can all come out of this stronger and more united.
We are a small team of volunteers with what we think is a great idea. Anything we do, we do for the benefit of our Maui 'Ohana and nothing more. With this being a very new project, we are working hard to make the 'Ohana Guardians Group a success, but do not have any expectations other than the ones we set for ourselves to provide as much help as we can to those who need it. No money comes through OGG. All donations will go directly from donors to recipients. For tax purposes, donations given are considered gifts and only need to be reported as such if the amount given exceeds $17,000. Donations received are not considered taxable income. For more information regarding tax information, we recommend consulting a financial expert.