CHICAGO — Several local groups are working together to show their support for the wildfire victims in Maui.
Isabel Lee, the owner of Aloha Eats, has been serving up Hawaiian-style plate lunch food in Lincoln Park for almost 20 years.
After hearing about the deadly wildfires on the island of Maui, she was left in disbelief.
“Even though we’re technically 4,000 miles away, it still hits close to home,” Lee said. “My friends and family are predominately in Oahu. But that doesn’t mean the hurt kind of stops because I don’t know anyone personally.
With her roots in Hawaii, she still feels connected to the tragedy. Lee, determined to provide support, is donating 20% of her sales from Tuesday to Sunday to help efforts in Maui.
As the devastation in Maui continues, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Lutheran Disaster Response in Chicago is working with a Maui bishop in their congregation’s network, FEMA and other government entities to help people rebuild and get back on their feet.
“We don’t send food or clothing or anything like that,” Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton said. “We assist in financial needs, case management, give emotional and spiritual care and long-term needs.”
The Realtors Relief Foundation, an organization also based out of Chicago, has been helping disaster victims for more than two decades. With the help of real estate agents across the country, the foundation will be donating $1.5 million and is partnering with the Realtors Association of Maui to distribute the money.
“One of the things that happens, of course, is maybe you can’t live in your house, but your bills go on,” Mike McGrew, president of the Realtors Relief Foundation, said. ” Your mortgage goes on. If you’re a tenant, your rent goes on maybe. So this is an opportunity for us to get money in people’s hands very quickly and help them with their housing needs.”