In the wake of devastating wildfires in Maui, Oprah Winfrey has vowed to make a “major donation” to the island to help with repairs. In a new video Winfrey posted on Instagram, she made the heart-warming announcement.
Oprah Winfrey’s Maui Rescue Efforts
Winfrey visited the island to donate supplies and help distribute them to displaced families. She visited an evacuation center to help put together makeshift beds and speak with some of the residents there. Because of her visit, she realized the amount of help the island needed, which prompted her to announce her hefty donation.
“You know what this week has taught me is that when you don’t know what to do…you do whatever you can,” Winfrey said in the video.
She went on to detail her experience at a shelter while she was visiting. The residents there told her they needed basic necessities like towels, sheets and shampoo.
“And at some point, I will make a major donation after all of the smoke and ash have settled here, and we figure out what the rebuilding is going to look like,” she continued.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, the Maui wildfires are the deadliest in the US in more than 100 years. As of August 14, the number of dead reached 99. The wildfires were first reported on August 8. Maui is the second-largest island in the state, with thousands of people needing to evacuate due to the fires.
A report from CoreLogic details the amount of damage already done on the island. The total cost of damages is currently at an estimated $1.3 billion. The report also states that it will take over $1.2 billion to reconstruct. On August 11, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra declared a public health emergency for the state of Hawaii. President Biden has also approved a disaster declaration for the state.