For the past 10 years, David and Shelly Swenson have spent at least four months of every year living in their second home in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii. While there they have served in many ways for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Lahaina. They have made many wonderful and close friends among the many families of the congregation there. They have become like brothers and sisters. On August 8th the most deadly fire in United States history ripped through Lahaina. After the fires died and the smoke subsided it was learned that 41 of those families had lost their homes, and everything in them, to this devastating fire. The funds raised will be dispersed to these 41 families by the local Bishop/clergyman of the Church. Funds will be used to purchase new clothes, essential items such as toiletries, food, and fuel, and to pay various personal bills. Funds may also be used to pay for temporary housing.
Go to the following video link to view the television news interview with the Swensons:
The Swensons have set up this GoFundMe to send funds directly to those 41 specific families they know in Lahaina who have lost everything.
100% of your donation will go to these families, and the Swensons are so grateful to everyone who can contribute. If you can't donate but can share this link, that would be greatly appreciated as well!
Here are the stories of some of the families that you will be contributing to:
Reese and Jen - Lost their home as well as their business on Front Street.
This young couple owns "Banyan Treats" across from the historic Banyan Tree in Lahaina. They were home when the fire started, and soon saw sparks the size of quarters flying into their entryway. They ran out, taking their pet parakeet, and found downed power lines and fires all around the street. They briefly lost track of each other in the black smoke. They escaped with their lives but lost their home, car, and business.
Wilmont and Laura - Lost everything in the fire. They are a sweet couple who have an amazing family. Their home and car were destroyed, and the photos show them sifting through the ashes. They are both educators whose schools have burned down as well. They need your help to rebuild their home and their lives.
Val H. - A widow who lost her husband a few years ago. Val, a longtime resident of Lahaina, returned to her home after the fire to find it leveled. She was looking for the urn that held her husband Danny's ashes. Her home was simple but beautiful with a magnificent garden. She had lived there with her family for many years. Everything is gone. Val is retired and living on a fixed income with her daughter. Many families are multi-generational, living in homes together just to financially survive.