South Korean government donates $2M for disaster relief

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – The South Korean government has donated $2 million to relief efforts in Maui, saying the gift is a symbol of their strong alliance and friendship with the U.S.

From the donation, $500,000 will be for supplies and the rest to the Hawaii Community Foundation.

Korean Consul General Lee Seo Young said he flew out to Maui last week Friday to meet with county officials and speak with families at the shelters.

“I have a chance to meet the Korean people who live there in Lahaina,” said Young.

“They said they lost 40 years of their lives in Maui. They lost everything, housing, their property, their shop, they lost everything.”

Young was also touched by the donations pouring into Maui.

“I was very surprised, and I have big impression to charity spirit and donating spirit of American people,” said Young. “Many people in their car, they move a lot of materials to support the shelter.”

Micah Kane, CEO of the Hawaii Community Foundation, said this is the largest single donation they have ever received. He said they are currently in rapid response mode to address health care and mental health needs. HCF is also supporting the area by providing communication services.

“These technologies require higher power and so generator uses are there,” said Kane.

“So, we’re funding stuff like propane and things that power these things so that people can communicate, that’s been probably the biggest challenge right now.”

Meanwhile, there are still a lot of donations in the state Capitol building’s basement from their collection drive over the weekend.

Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke said she’s been tasked with managing these donations.

“We’re working with the Maui County to have storage facilities on Maui, we also have storage facilities on Oahu to hold back non-essential items,” said Luke.

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