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Books for Maui Auction: Raising Money for Those Affected by the Lahina Fire

I just learned about an incredible book-related effort to raise money for those affected by the devastating fires that hit Maui. Books for Maui is an auction that is taking place until midnight, Hawaii time, on August 25th. The money raised from the auction will go to a variety of local charities, including the Maui Food Bank and the Hawaii Community Foundation.

The items up for auction include signed books, manuscript and query critiques by agents, virtual visits with authors, and other bookish items. They are book-related items for adults and kids, something in every genre imaginable. As both a writer and book lover, I was wowed by all of the items offered. Plus, it's easy to shop, when you are helping an immediate need.

On a personal note, I'd like to share my love for Maui.

I grew up visiting Maui for several weeks every year. My aunt and uncle co-owned a condo with their friends in Maalaea Bay, about twenty-five minutes from Lahina. The area where we stayed is much more developed and touristy now, but when we visited in the 80's/90's. it was a sleepy harbor town with mostly locals. We would drive to Lahina for shopping and restaurants.

In elementary school, I made friends with a local girl named Mia. Her parent's owned a small Japanese restaurant in Lahina, and I absolutely loved going with them to work. For the payment of all the noodles and green tea ice cream we could eat, we helped out at the restaurant. Mia and I were allowed to seat customers, set place settings, and help with small cleaning tasks. This is one of my strongest vacation memories.

I've only visited Maui twice as an adult. The most recent visit was about two weeks before the Lahina fire. Lahina was a port stop on our cruise from Los Angeles to the Hawaiian Islands. I was happy to share this important place from my childhood with my husband and step kids, who had not previously visited. Our day went by quickly, but we enjoyed lunch at the Lahina Fish Co, bought some souvenirs, and explored the giant banyan tree. I knew that this was just a taste of Maui, and that we would need to plan a full trip back. Now, of course, it feels even more special that we were able to visit.

A Family Picture of Lahina Maui's Famous Banyon Tree July 2023
My Family at Lahina's Banyon Tree- July 2023

I've watched the news reports, and it's hard to even comprehend that Lahina is gone, and that so many lives have been lost. It's too much to even process. I don't personally know anyone who was affected, but I feel overwhelmed in the same way that I felt on September 11th. It's just too much.

All of this is to say, if you are also feeling helpless and wanting to help, the Books for Maui auction is an excellent way to give support. I've also seen several sites gathering books to rebuild the Maui library and community libraries, which of course, is another great way to help. However, I'm not including them here, as it seems they have been overwhelmed by donations. At the moment, Books for Maui is a book related cause that is focusing on financial support for the immediate needs that residents are facing.

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