In a heartfelt response to the devastating wildfires that have ravaged Maui, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his fiancée Lauren Sánchez have announced a substantial commitment of $100 million to establish a dedicated relief fund for the island’s recovery. The philanthropic initiative, shared via both Instagram and Threads posts by Sánchez, not only expresses their deep sympathy for the affected community but also outlines a comprehensive approach to aiding both immediate needs and long-term rehabilitation efforts.
In an Instagram post, Sánchez shared a heartfelt message that captured the essence of their commitment: “Jeff and I are heartbroken by what’s happening in Maui. We are thinking of all the families that have lost so much and a community that has been left devastated. The immediate needs are important, and so is the longer term rebuilding that will have to happen — even after much of the attention has subsided. Jeff and I are creating a Maui Fund and are dedicating $100 million to help Maui get back on its feet now and over the coming years as the continuing needs reveal themselves.”
Further elaborating on the fund’s intended impact, Sánchez took to Threads to provide additional insight: “The tragedy unfolding in Maui is beyond heartbreaking. Jeff and I have been on the phone with local residents and officials, and will be making donations to help. Thank you to everyone there helping with recovery efforts on the ground and supporting those who are struggling.”
Bezos and Sánchez’s connection to the island runs deep, as Bezos reportedly purchased a $78 million mansion on Maui’s southern coast in 2021, potentially marking it as the most expensive residential property ever sold on the island. Although the mansion was acquired and sold off-market, limited visuals of the property are available, showcasing the stunning beauty of the area.
In this time of crisis, the island has witnessed not only the generosity of Bezos and Sánchez but also the active involvement of other high-profile figures. Oprah Winfrey, who also owns property on Maui, has been personally engaging in relief efforts. With a remarkable 200-acre property on the island, Winfrey has been distributing supplies at a refugee center. A representative for Winfrey confirmed her commitment to extend her support, with plans to contribute significantly to both immediate and long-term rebuilding endeavors. In a recent social media video, Winfrey reaffirmed her commitment to the cause, vowing to “make a major donation after all of the smoke and ash have settled here and we figure out what the rebuilding is going to look like.”
As Maui faces the daunting task of recovery, the combined efforts of these influential figures bring hope to a community grappling with the aftermath of devastation. With their substantial contributions, Bezos, Sánchez, Winfrey, and many others stand united in their determination to restore the island’s vitality and resilience.