On August 8th, a seemingly typical wildfire ensued near Lahaina. With the aid of Hurricane Dora and its winds reaching up to 80 miles per hour, the fire unfurled into an inferno, ravaging our beloved hometown. Amidst the relentless flames, families were torn apart for hours with no form of communication, unaware of the safety of their loved ones. Tragically, 36 lives were taken, and the heartache deepens as over 12,000 Lahaina residents now find themselves without a home, including my family of 12.
Among those grappling with this heart-wrenching loss are thousands of locals and immigrant families. My childhood home, a humble haven divided into three dwelling units, stood as a testament to the tireless hours of dedication my immediate and extended family have committed to building our only home in the US. Our story began with three sisters from the Philippines who ventured here with aspirations as vast as the ocean, sacrificing and striving to lay the foundation for the countless opportunities that my siblings and I have today.
With immense gratitude, I can say that my family made it out physically unscathed, but the material possessions that anchored our existence have been cruelly taken away. All that remains are our documents and the clothes on their back, a stark reminder of the fragility of our existence.
It is with a heavy yet hopeful heart that I humbly reach out to you, our compassionate community, for a helping hand in the daunting task of rebuilding. The magnitude of this challenge is immense, and as a lone individual, my capacity to get my family back on their feet is limited.
Your empathy and generosity, no matter how modest, will serve as a beacon of hope in our darkest hours. Together, we can forge a path forward, breathing life back into the memories that once filled the rooms of our cherished home. Your support is a lifeline, a symbol of unity that transcends borders.
From the depths of my heart, thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and being a source of light amidst the shadows. Your kindness will forever be a part of our journey to rebuild what we have lost.
If you prefer to donate care packages to my family, please reach out to me for the address where your kindness will be safely delivered once everything settles.