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Helping Lahaina Families Recover

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

On August 8th 2023, I woke up and did my normal routine of scrolling through instagram. I saw a couple of posts about a wildfire in Maui. Specifically near Lahaina. I thought nothing of it, as Maui has fires all the time and often, nothing bad happens. As the morning went on, I kept checking and realized this was getting bad. I woke my boyfriend up to tell him and we both looked up more info online. Lahaina was literally burning to a crisp. Then Kula and other parts of Upcountry Maui started to burn. We felt helpless as we sat in our home in Virginia watching the devastation happen before our eyes. I obsessively kept checking instagram, Facebook, and google for updates. The photo's I kept seeing brought me to tears. Front Street was absolutely gone. So many locals homes, gone. I mean, completely gone. Glass, aluminum, steel, all melted. My heart hurt so much for the people of Maui.

(Not my images)

I lived there for 5 years, sold my artwork on Front Street in Lahaina for 2 years, photographed many families on Lahaina Shores Beach for years, walked the galleries of Lahaina with friends for inspiration. Now the Lahaina I know is just a memory. Such a strange feeling to have.

I panicked as a few of my friends worked and lived in Lahaina. The cell service was down on the West Side for a lot of people and I didn't hear from them in days. Thankfully, they were safe and their homes were safe. However, the places they worked in was gone. I sold my stickers at the Lahaina Restoration Foundation for years. All the artwork in there was from local artists, sadly all burnt. As I sat in my home feeling hopeless, I felt the need to do something. So I posted on Maui Bound's Facebook page that I would donate 100% of my profits to families who lost everything in the Fires on August 8th, 2023. I got an overwhelming response of orders. Around 200 people bought artwork to help those in Maui! It was amazing. It took Etsy a while to get the funds to my account, but in the end, myself and those who donated were able to conjure up $3000 for relief funds for families in Maui! I followed an Instagram page that posts local families with a description of what happened to them and their Venmo. So, my boyfriend and I sat down and chose 6 families to donate to. We were careful to find people who lost homes and businesses, single parents or parents with newly born babies. Each family I sent $500 to.

The Winchester Star here in Winchester, VA also put out a little article about my ties to Lahaina and my fundraiser. I also generated a little funds from that article which was so cool. I couldn't just sit around and do nothing, I am glad my artwork was able to help bring a little joy to not only the families I donated to, but also those who bought my artwork as a donation. So, for the rest of 2023, I am donating 25% of my sales to families still. I wish I could keep donating 100%, but I do have bills that I have to pay and food I gotta buy. If you feel the desire to help, take a look at my store on my etsy shop here or my website and find a piece that speaks to you. I have a Lahaina Painting posted below of the Pioneer Inn and Harbor with the West Maui Mountains and a turtle and whale. It was painted with Watercolors for the Lahaina Poster Contest of 2018. It sadly didn't win, but I had a wonderful time painting that piece and I am so glad I did as it is an amazing memory of my art journey in Maui. I am also open for commissions at this time, so if you want a custom piece, give me a call or email and we will come up with a painting specifically for you and your home! I love it when people come together to help those in need. This world needs more of that.

Winchester Artist featured in Winchester Star Newspaper fundraiser for Lahaina Fires in Maui Hawaii

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