A month after the devastating August fire struck the historic town of Lahaina, the Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce hosted a Resource Fair, ‘Hawak Kamay,’ on September 23, 2023. The fair was held to create a safe space for healing and to provide essential support to the displaced Filipino community. The Tagalog phrase ‘Hawak Kamay’ translates to “hand in hand,” symbolizing the unity as government agencies, businesses, and nonprofits came together to assist the Filipino survivors.
In a genuine show of support, Oceanit stepped forward to donate ASSURE-100 Rapid COVID-19 tests for distribution at the fair.
“Oceanit is deeply committed to the well-being of our communities, and we stand with our friends in Lahaina during this challenging time. Our donation of test kits is a small gesture, but we hope it will make a significant difference in the lives of those affected by the fire,” said Dr. Patrick K. Sullivan, Oceanit CEO.
For thousands of displaced individuals, living in hotels, vacation rentals, and housing units offered by Hawaii Housing Finance and Development, the fair served as a chance to reconnect with the Filipino community and strengthen their ties to Lahaina. The fair offered survivors essentials such as food, supplies, therapy, entertainment, and a peaceful healing sanctuary. In addition, the Philippine Consulate of Honolulu was present to assist those needing vital document replacements, including passports.
The ASSURE-100 Rapid COVID-19 test kit, was granted FDA authorization for over-the-counter use in December 2022. With a surge of new COVID cases nationally, rapid testing is still viewed as a vital way of preventing unchecked spread of cases. ASSURE-100 delivers results in under 20 minutes and is a reliable way to monitor infectiousness amidst this time of emergency on Maui.
The Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce has also initiated a relief fund, the ‘Bayanihan Relief Fund,’ and is inviting contributions to facilitate Lahaina’s rehabilitation and support its inhabitants. Information on how to donate can be found on https://www.mauifilipinochamber.com/.
“We are committed to recovery as we rise together as a community,” stated Dominic Suguitan, president of the Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce. “We have set up this fund to help provide those affected with basic needs, and to support long-term economic recovery and small business support, especially for our kababayan on Maui.”
Organizers said over 2,750 people attended the Hawak Kamay Resource Fair at the Lahaina Civic Center on Saturday the 23rd, 2023.