Oprah Winfrey is supporting the people of Maui who’ve been devastated by recent wildfires.
The media icon, who is also a resident of the island, was spotted handing out supplies includes pillows and sheets at local evacuation shelters late last week. In a post on Instagram, she confirmed she’s been lending a hand and pledged to make a major donation to support ongoing recovery efforts:
“Hey everybody, you know what this week has taught me? When you don’t know what to do, you do whatever you can,” she begins.
“I went to visit one of the big shelters here, the War Memorial, and asked people what it is they needed and went shopping for some things. Some basic things like towels, sheets and shampoo and other necessities. And at some point I’m going to make a major donation after all of the smoke and ashes have settled here and we figure out what rebuilding is going to look like here. It’s going to be a long and difficult process.”
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Oprah adds that she’s been spending time at the shelters meeting survivors and families who’ve lost everything, including a man named Julius who suffered burns to his legs. She asked him what he needed:
“He said, ‘Ma’am I need nothing. My life is now my greatest gift.'”
She continues, “I’ve seen so many families who are sharing a cot, an air mattress and have nothing else left to their names but they are so grateful just to have each other. There’s such an incredible spirit going on in this entire community, people helping other people. And I know long after all the camera crews are gone and the rest of the world has moved on, the rebuilding will just begin.”
Oprah isn’t the only public figure to pledge support for the Hawaiian island. Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos and fiancée, Emmy award-winning journalist Lauren Sánchez have set up a $100 million “Maui Fund” for recovery efforts.
(Feature Image Credit: Featureflash Photo Agency/ Shutterstock.com)