Oprah and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Team Up to Donate $10 Million to Maui Relief – But Angry Fans Think What They’re Doing Isn’t Right
Is it fair to slam Oprah and The Rock for “not doing more?” How much is enough?
Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson are facing backlash after encouraging fans to donate money to a relief fund to help those affected by the Maui wildfires.
Ruffled commentators pointed out that Winfrey and Johnson have a “combined net worth of more than $2.8 billion.” And the stars have no right “asking” people less fortunate than them to donate. Well, do they have a point, or at they totally missing it?
The Maui Wildfires Destroyed The Island’s Natural Beauty
In August, deadly wildfires swept through the island, killing at least 115 people and leaving 385 others missing in the town of Lāhainā.
For the close knit community of Maui’s locals, the fall out has been devastating.
The island oasis is economically dependent on tourism, but in the wake the wildfires tourists were urged to “stay away” while Maui rebuilds.
Now, hotels workers and locals alike have returned urging tourists to come back to Maui after suffering an economic nosedive in their absence.
Owen Wegner, a line cook at the world-famous Grand Wailea Hotel, spoke to the New York Times of how dire the emergency is for locals. “Right now, it’s hard to think about the future and if we’re going to make next month’s rent.” Wegner has only been called in to work two shifts in two weeks, making him fear for how he will provide for his family.
When the news of the Maui Wildfires hit, celebrities and everyday heroes alike banded together on social media to show their support for the beautiful island, with many wanting to know how they could raise relief funds for Maui.
As always…Oprah had something to say!
Oprah Winfrey and The Rock Started The Peoples’ Fund of Maui
Celebrity philanthropists Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson have been following the Maui wildfires closely!
For Winfrey, the island is like a second home. The former talk show host is known to have several homes on Maui and a deep love for the island’s natural beauty.
For Johnson, the former-wrestler turned actor is Maui. Literally! In Disney’s hit animated feature Moana, Johnson voices the mighty demigod who guides Moana in her quest. Not only that, but the multitalented athlete is half-Samoan, and has championed the small but mighty island of Hawaii for his entire career.
Don’t underestimate Hawaii! They have Barack Obama and Dwayne The Rock Johnson!
It safe to say for both Oprah and Dwayne, when they saw people were looking for resources to help the citizens of Maui, the dynamic celeb duo, came up with the perfect way to facilitate their wishes starting their very own relief fund!
Not only that! They put there money where the mouth is – padding the pot with a starting donation of $10 Million from their very own cheque books!
Both celebs took to social media to share with their millions of followers how everyone can get involved.
Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson created The People’s Fund of Maui as a way to ensure the money donated would go directly into the hands of families and individuals in the community suffering most.
It’s an awesome solution to the age old problem individuals face when they donate to big charitable organizations.
At the end of the day…everyone hopes their money is going directly to the cause, not just funding the people back at the office who keep it running!
The headlines should end there, congratulating Oprah and Dwayne for their good deeds…but of course they don’t, because it’s true when they say…no good deed goes unpunished!
So What’s All the Fuss About?
After the celebs posted their videos, critics were quick to dismiss their charitable efforts as unimpressive.
One top comment received over 10,000 likes reading: “Math ain’t mathing with this one. You guy’s literally have so much money…. You can donate it and make it back within a year.”
Another skeptic commented on Oprah’s post, “I support Maui and the cause. But why are you asking us common folk who live paycheck to paycheck. We struggle to put food on table. Who helps us?”
The negative backlash is a reminder of the old saying, “you’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t”.
Social media commentators have a history of telling celebrity millionaires and billionaires how they think they should allocate their money and where they should direct their charitable efforts.
And with the economic fear and civil unrest in corporate America, I get it…most of the time!
But here’s why her most recent critics are missing the mark: Oprah Winfrey isn’t Mark Zuckerberg.
She’s a self-made, African-American woman, who’s entire brand is founded on her long-with-standing, worldwide, philanthropic pursuits and devotion to encouraging her followers to work on making themselves and the world a better place.
Public records estimate since establishing her three charitable foundations: The Angel Network, The Oprah Winfrey Foundation, and The Oprah Winfrey Operating Foundation, Winfrey has donated approximately $818 Million Dollars.
Sources also have reported Oprah Winfrey’s will and testament state upon her passing $1 billion of her remaining net-worth be donated to charity.
For all intents and purposes, it seems misguided to paint Oprah as the evil billionaire preying on her fans and followers to donate money they would otherwise use to feed their families.
That’s not what she (or fellow philanthropist “The Rock”) are doing.
You Don’t Have To Be A Billionaire To Be A Philanthropist!
Ultimately, as cliche as it sounds, it’s better to give than to receive and Oprah and The Rock, know it!
When the pair took to Instagram to share what they donated to the Wildfire Cause…they weren’t asking fans to match their $5 Million dollar donations.
They were just letting people know, if they were looking for a way to directly put a dollar in the hands of the families who needed help…they created a foundation that would help them do that!
Sometimes it’s not just about the money. Yes, I think those who are blessed with fat bank accounts have a duty to share the wealth with a world that is hurting!
But in the same breath, they shouldn’t be the only ones who get to reap the altruistic reward that is lending our neighbours a helping hand.
A billionaire’s dollar isn’t better than yours…just because they have more.
500 cents goes a long way!
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