Community members affected by the Maui fires now can retrieve food, supplies and other necessities at the Westside Distribution Center at Kahana Gateway.
It takes the place of the distribution site that originally was at the Lahaina Gateway, but has since shutdown as the shopping center reopens to customers.
The new donation site held a blessing and opening ceremony on Friday, with community, county and state leaders in attendance. They said it would remain open in West Maui for however long the community needs it.
The morning ceremony began with a traditional Hawaiian blessing. Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen spoke about the uncertainty that displaced residents have felt since the fires.
“When we come together in a place like this, we reduce that uncertainty,” he said. “We alleviate that anxiety.”
Global Empowerment Mission, 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.
“We want to assure the people of Maui that this will be available,” said Hawaiʻi Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke, who has been working with the county and community partners to support the distribution network.
The Kahana Gateway distribution center is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 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, visit www.mauinuistrong.info.