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900 Lahaina wildfire survivors get early holiday surprise at school : Maui Now

November 9, 2023, 10:30 AM HST

Children and staff of Princess Nahiʻenaʻena Elementary School and Kamehameha III Elementary were treated to a Lahaina Toy Surprise and Delight event on Wednesday. The event aimed to bring joy to families impacted by the Lahaina wildfires and create a Winter Wonderland filled with surprises and delights for students and staff.

The gathering was held on Nov. 8, 2023, exactly three months after the wildfire disaster. It welcomes almost 800 students (ages 3-12) and more than 125 administrators, and was made possible through the collaborative efforts of The Salvation Army and Walmart.

The event’s Winter Wonderland theme transformed the school cafeteria into a magical space, complete with Christmas trees, inflatables, and holiday music. Large gift bags filled with toys were also distributed to each child present at the event.


Kamehameha III Elementary School, which was destroyed in the fire, temporarily relocated its students and staff to Princess Nahiʻenaʻena Elementary School while a temporary campus is under construction. The school not only faced physical damage but also lost valuable equipment, school supplies and branded items.

In a show of solidarity and to commemorate the time and space that they now share, The Salvation Army gave each staff member a Princess Nahi’ena’ena and Kamehameha III co-branded gift and Walmart provided each of them with a store gift card.

“These gifts are a small gesture of deep appreciation for these educators who have faced extreme challenges and yet remain committed to serving our keiki and ensuring that their learning experiences remain undeterred,” said Captain Steven Howard, The Salvation Army Kahului Corps Officer, Maui County Coordinator.


To register for The Salvation Army Maui’s Angel Tree distribution event at Walmart, which will be open to ALL Maui families, please visit saangeltree.org

Source: Maui News

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