LĀHAINĀ, HAWAIʻI — Community members affected by the Maui fires can retrieve food, supplies, and other necessities at the West Maui Distribution Center located at Kahana Gateway. The new donation site held a blessing and opening ceremony on Friday, with community, county, and state leaders in attendance who assured that the donation site will remain open in West Maui for however long the community needs it.
The morning ceremony began with a traditional Hawaiian blessing, followed by remarks from leaders. Mayor Richard Bissen spoke of the uncertainty that displaced residents have felt since the fires. The Kahana Gateway site will provide continuous, sustained assistance throughout the road to recovery.
"When we come together in a place like this, we reduce that uncertainty. We alleviate that anxiety," said Mayor Bissen.
Global Empowerment Mission (GEM), a philanthropic nonprofit dedicated to delivering disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, and sustainable development solutions to communities in crisis, has partnered with West Maui community leaders to manage the distribution center.
The Kahana Gateway site is one piece of the overall coordinated donation distribution network that includes various donation sites and community resiliency hubs across Maui.
Lieutenant Governor Sylvia Luke, who has been working with the county and community partners to support the distribution network, said, "Kahana Gateway will be here. Other distribution sites will be here thanks to the county's leadership. And that’s what we want to assure the people of Maui – that this will be available."
Formerly at Lāhainā Gateway, the new West Maui Distribution Center at Kahana Gateway is open on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Volunteers are needed to help sort and distribute donations. For more information on volunteering or donating items, please visit www.mauinuistrong.info.