OREM, Utah (ABC4) — Utahns have been hard at work gathering, packing up, and getting supplies ready to ship out to Maui for those affected by the wildfires.
Some of these volunteers have no connection to the island, while others have called the tropical land home, and have family dealing with the losses.
Anaseini Malafu, a Maui native with family still on the island, said she was relieved when she heard her family was safe.
Malafu said she has been spending time at Utah Valley University collecting donations to send to Maui. She reportedly enjoyed seeing so many helping hands, clothes, bedding, hygiene supplies, and canned goods.
“When I was seeing all of that the first time I walked through the doors, I kind of got emotional,” she said.
Holly Larsen, a Maui native, said her dad was born and raised in Lahaina. She said a home that her grandpa had built in the 1970s burned completely to the ground, “with nothing but a few cement posts left.”
Larsen has since turned to social media to raise funds to rebuild her family’s home.
“It’s hard to even fathom how much people have been there for our family and how much support continues to roll in,” she said.
Both Larsen and Malafu said that the losses across Maui are devastating, but seeing the support across Utah gives them and their families hope for the future.
“There’s a lot of people across the nation, across the state that care so much that are thinking of them and that are constantly finding ways to help,” Larsen said.