Monday, October 30, 2023

Farewell to Beautiful Lahaina - Quilt Donations at the Maui Quilt Shop


Artist rendering of Old Lahaina

Hey there from Nannyland,

My hubby and I  travel almost every year about this time to Hawaii with our dear friends, Phil and Donna. This year we almost decided to cancel after our hearts were broken when we heard about the devastating fire in our beloved Lahaina, in which we have spent so many blissful hours eating. shopping in quaint little shops and enjoying the incredible views. We have loved the amazing Halloween party they have every year, which I swear rivals mardi gras! But the Governor urged travelers not to cancel their visits after things started opening again and after our visit, I can understand why. The people in West Maui depend on a robust tourist trade for their livelihood and so many of them lost everything and need their jobs to even begin to get back on their feet. So, we decided to go and I'm so glad we did. The contrast between our halcyon days on the beach in Kaanapali and the devastation in Lahaina was stark, and so very sad. We vowed to do everything we could to be of some service, however small. We donated to the food bank, shopped completely local, and tipped large. We found other ways to help individuals where we could. We heard many heart-rending stories of tragedy and loss.


As you might expect, quilters were some of the first people to offer aid after the fire. Wherever I go in the world, I'm always looking for the nearest quilt shop to see what local treasures I can find. I managed to coax my travel mates to seek out a quilt shop I found in a local listing. We were (well, I was) excited to discover this hidden gem called the Maui Quilt Shop in Wailuku.  The first thing we saw when we entered the shop was box after box of donated finished quilts. Marilyn Sameshima, the shop owner, wanted to do something to help out her community.  Just days after the fires, Sameshima created the "Aloha Quilts Donation Drive" asking people on Facebook to donate quilts to her shop.  She in turn would donate quilts to the people who needed them most.  Sameshima said she received over 1,600 quilts, and counting.  She's been able to give two-thirds of them to her fellow Maui residents. Quilts came pouring in from 49 states. Many people lost their homes and are living in temporary housing, so I'm sure they are much appreciated. 

So, here we were in paradise, with smiles on our faces, relaxing and enjoying yet another shopping trip. Actually, we were thinking how lucky we are to be alive and have a comfortable house to come home to, with friends and family there to greet us. Life is short and people everywhere are struggling. Just around the bend from a pristine beach can be the shattered remnants of a once thriving jewel of a city, and all the pain it brings to those impacted by its sudden demise. I'm thankful for the courageous people who taught me firsthand what this means to them. I'm changed forever.

Thanks for visiting Nannyland.
I'll just be here blissfully creating until your next visit. 
Nancy (aka Pink Panoply)

No comments:

Post a Comment