Kula, Maui, was devastated by the recent wildfires, but as volunteers sift through the ashes, they are finding belongings that survived, including an engagement ring.
It was a special moment when our team recovered an engagement ring lost in the ash during the Maui fires in Kula. While sifting through the remnants of a family's property our team lends a listening ear as families begin to process their struggles. https://t.co/iMscYbysMX pic.twitter.com/K5S0yVJSvP
— Samaritan's Purse (@SamaritansPurse) August 28, 2023
Samaritan’s Purse, a Billy Graham Ministries’ organization, flew in volunteers to help with the cleanup. These individuals are working together to offer those who lost everything the mementos that survived, via Hawaii News Now.
One of the volunteers, Gabrille Bouquet, said, “The best find at this site was finding the daughter her mom’s engagement ring.”
“They are still searching for (the daughter’s) engagement ring, but to have one thing like that means so much. It is really precious,” she added.
Another Kula resident, Ross Hart, noted his appreciation of the volunteers. He said, “It’s hard by yourself digging and scraping through the ash.”
“You start finding things and then pretty soon you are off track and you’re going everywhere. These folks are more focused and they know what they are looking for,” he went on.
“Everything burns up. There’s a few things, precious things, memory items that survive, sometimes intact — but usually not,” he concluded.
According to NPR, Kula is about 25 miles away from Lahaina, which was virtually destroyed by the fires.
Kula is a smaller community and further upcountry surrounded by brush and wild plants that quickly ignited.
Hart told NPR how he and his neighbors tried to put out the fires with garden hoses and fire hoses, but the water pressure got cut off, and the flames quickly took over.
His home was reduced to nothing more than ash, and now the Samaritan’s Purse volunteers are helping to search for anything that survived.
Hawaii News Now also reported that the manager of the charitable program, Tony Williamson described the goal of their involvement.
He said, “These personal items mean a ton to these families. We hope to recover them and find that little bit of hope and bring a little bit of closure in this time.”
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