By News-Register staff • 

Maui relief efforts expand in Mac


A growing list of McMinnville-based fundraisers provides local residents ways to help relieve the wildfire crisis in Hawaii that has killed more than 100 people and displaced thousands.

A fundraiser by a McMinnville family focuses on the first responders who have put their lives on the line to assist island residents.

According to Christine Asuncion Gibson, many firefighters, EMTs and law enforcement workers in Maui continued helping even after they lost their own homes. Asuncion-Gibson and her husband, John, and her two sons, Andy and Nick, have worked to put together “Aloha Maui Heroes,” a fundraiser that is taking donations to send gift cards to first responders on the affected areas of Maui.

Christine’s brother, Michael Asuncion, is one of the many police officers working in Maui. The goal is to raise enough money to purchase gift cards from Maui businesses to send to first responders in order to stimulate the Maui economy and support local business owners.

Christine and her sons were at Lemonade Day in front of The Merri Artist on Saturday. The three were collecting donations as well as decorating Hawaiian paper flowers to send to “Aloha Maui Heroes."

The fundraiser is continuing to accept donations through Sept. 9. Anyone can donate through Christine, by contacting her at or 503-997-0363, as well as her venmo account, @casuncion-gibson

Hui O Lokahi Hawaiian Club at Linfield University holds a “Linfield4Maui Ohana — family — to our Maui” donation drive, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 26-27, in the Walker Hall courtyard on the Linfield University campus.

Needed donations include: feminine products; medical supplies such as latex-free gloves, pain and allergy medicine, and bandages; phone and electronic chargers; clothing, including socks and underwear; personal hygiene products, including sunscreen, shampoo, hand sanitizer; and sealable food bags and containers, cooking utensils and notepads, sharpies and pens.

For details visit the link @Linfield.HuiOLokahi and

Linfield is supporting students and families who have been affected by the fires. Donations can be made on Linfield’s website,

* The Medeiros family of McMinnville reported “overwhelming” response to the donation drive it created over the past two weeks, as reported in the Aug. 18 News-Register. Michelle Medeiros accompanied dozens of boxes of donations to Hawaii on Monday.

“The people of Oregon have shown incredible kindness, offering their prayers and support. Our relief efforts have made a significant impact,” Brittney Medeiros said Monday.

The family has received more donations and plans additional shipments via Alaska Airlines.

Anyone interesting in helping may call 971-237-5762.

* Hawaii 503, 619 N.E. Third St., has created a space on Facebook for families who have been affected to post their venmo accounts to receive donations.

* Tributary Hotel, 610 N.E. Third St., is donating $100 for every room booked through September. Funds will go to Hawaii Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund.

Reyn Nakamasu, general manager, and owner Shaun Kajiwara are both from Hawaii and feeling the impact of so many losses for family members, friends and colleagues.

“I still call Hawaii my home,” said Nakamasu, who has lived on the mainland for 10 years. “Many of us are doing what we can, like many colleagues I have spoken to in Hawaii, to help provide any support, such as housing or food. It’s been great to see the community come together in Maui.” He said one friend who works at Maui Marriott said more than half the staff lost their homes.

“It hits hard. You have to stay positive and keep your sense of community,” said Nakamasu, who said he is happy to see resources going to help the Maui Humane Society as well.

“It is great to see how many businesses in Oregon are coming together to do donations and fundraisers, to see people not necessarily connected to Hawaii, trying to do what they can. It is very refreshing,” Nakamasu said.



Did Michelle Medeiros get the donations to Hawaii? I thought I saw on Facebook that Alaska Airlines back peddled on their offer, and only allowed a few packages to go to Maui?

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