The Hawaii State recently kickstarted the Malama Maui campaign. To malama means to protect, to care for. This campaign intends to give visitors tips on how to support the healing of Maui’s people in their words and actions. Maui is open for visitors, however the burn zones are closed to the public for safety and respect reasons.
I’ll be placing these tip sheets in our condos, but wanted to share them here as well since I think it useful information.
Tips for Respectful, Compassionate, Responsible Travel
Support the healing of Maui’s people in your words and actions.
- Make sure you’ve packed two things on a trip: patience and grace. Expect to wait for longer than you’re used to for food or other services.
- Support local businesses. Your visit will support Maui businesses that rely on tourism for their families’ livelihood. Visit MauiNuiFirst.com for various ways to eat, shop, play, stay and support local.
- Hosting uninvited volunteers in direct recovery work may be difficult at this time. Visit MauiNuiStrong.info for efforts welcoming volunteers and contributions.
- Do not enter Lahaina Town or take photos of the area, even from afar. The area is restricted because conditions can be hazardous to your health. Respect the privacy of survivors and the dignity of those who lost their lives.
- Do not ask about a resident’s personal experience with the disaster. While a question such as “Were you impacted by the fire?” may be intended to be supportive, many survivors are not ready to share their experiences with others.
- If you come across a memorial service or other private gathering, leave the area immediately. Respect the gathered survivors and residents — do not take photos or videos.
Regarding volunteer work
This past weekend I volunteered at Hope Chapel Church’s distribution center here in Kihei. This center was initially opened for displaced fire victims but is now open to all in need. In the past few months there have been many who have lost their jobs or had their hours cut with the downturn in the visitor industry. The center is open Thurs-Sunday, 11am-4pm. I helped restocking, walking customers through the aisles, helping them find things. I found it to be well-run. Volunteers limited the number of customers allowed in at a time to make it a peaceful experience.
Surprisingly to me there were three local Kihei volunteers and five non-residents. Two were trauma therapists who are here to volunteer with trauma counseling and four others were simply visiting and wanting to help.
If you too want to help, plan ahead a little and check out the official volunteer/donation coordination site. Here is the link for the Hope Chapel volunteer/donation efforts, if you would like to give that a try.