Aug 30, 2023
Gift for Life raises funds for hunger relief in Maui

In response to the wind-driven fires that caused destruction throughout Hawaii, Gift for Life’s Home vs. Hunger team launched “Home vs Hunger Helps Hawaii,” an online fundraising campaign for World Central Kitchen’s crisis-related hunger relief efforts in Maui.

“It’s heart wrenching to get news of a natural disaster and see how badly it has affected everyone in the area,” said Russ Jones, chair of Gift for Life’s Home vs. Hunger team. “Maui residents have lost so much, including businesses, restaurants and homes, and we are mobilizing the home industry to help in this time of extreme need.”

Starting in the early morning hours of Aug. 8, devastating wildfires tore through western Maui and destroyed much of the historic town of Lahaina. As of Aug. 25, more than 115 people have died, nearly 400 people are still unaccounted for, approximately 2,200 structures have been damaged or destroyed, thousands of residents have been displaced and businesses have been demolished. Financial losses are approaching $6 billion, according to national news reports.

World Central Kitchen (WCK) teams are on the ground in Maui working with partners to get much-needed meals to evacuees and emergency workers. In the first two weeks, WCK quickly mobilized to the hardest-hit areas and provided more than 60,000 meals to first responders and families in need. WCK’s response in Hawaii continues to evolve with the situation — and by working with chefs and residents from impacted communities, the organization adjusts efforts to meet the changing needs.

Donations to Home vs. Hunger Helps Hawaii will be accepted through the Fall 2023 High Point Market, Oct. 14-18.

In partnership with home industry leaders and market makers, Gift for Life debuted its Home vs Hunger initiative at High Point Market in October 2022 and has since raised nearly $50,000 for World Central Kitchen. Gift for Life’s Home vs. Hunger team members include Chris Amos, ANDMORE; Mark Furlet, ANDMORE; Sharon Davis, ART; Jen Dolan, Arteriors; Jenny Heinzen York, Currey & Company; Jonathan Cochran, Eichholtz; Monica Loving, Ivystone; Russ Jones, Ivystone; Douglas Self, J. Douglas; and Sandra Standefer, Loloi Rugs.

“In 2020, Gift for Life designated World Central Kitchen as our primary beneficiary, and since then our board — and our generous industry donors — have carefully followed WCK’s work as they heroically respond to disasters of all kinds across the globe,” said Ari Lowenstein, chair of Gift for Life. “The speed and ferocity of the recent fires in Maui left a trail of destruction and despair and WCK responded in record time. With High Point Market approaching, the Home vs. Hunger team saw an opportunity to help the people of Maui and created this special fundraising initiative to directly support WCK’s vital work on the ground.”

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