Founders of The Gaton Foundation from New York touched down in Maui this week on September 21st to lend their hearts in full to the residence, just weeks after a wildfire caused devastation to thousands on the Island. Angela Gaton-Wiltshire (Pictured below) and her daughter Kristen Wiltshire are working with The Red Cross, Maui Food Bank and other organisations across a span of 10 days, providing locals with first aid access, food, refreshments, emotional support and physical labour when they can.
Only three days into their noble aid, the mother and daughter community sweethearts are already replenishing Maui locals with glimmers of hope for their future survival.
The Maui fires, which began on August 8th, and displaced more than 7,400 people, resonated with the Gaton Founders, as the beginning to their own fruition also bloomed from the ashes after a fire tore through their local Richmond Hill area in Brooklyn, Queens, in 2020.
Multi-educator Angela Gaton-Wiltshire who teaches at the local high school, wasted no time emptying her home pantry for families in distress, providing an area of immediate relief in a time of deep unknown.
The timing of the Gaton Foundations efforts fittingly happened to coincide with significant price hikes and budget cuts in the United States that saw thousands stranded for both jobs and income, plummeting more Americans than ever into hunger situations. Now Angela, along with 45 other community-driven volunteers, feeds almost 400 families across Queens, Staten Island, The Bronx, Brooklyn and the Manhattan areas through their Give&Go programme. The couple has vowed to continue extending their capable goodwill in times of future natural disasters, like seen here in Maui.
When everything you know is changing right in front of your eyes, one of the least things you want to worry about is where your next meal will come from, let alone making sure it’s a healthy one.
Co Founder Kristen Wiltshire is a nutritionist by trade and understands the termoil that can roll when malnutrition hits on top of uncertainty.
“We have folks that cannot find their next meal or don’t know where it’s coming from. We don’t want to feed them junk food because there are so many interconnected issues with malnutrition and high processed diets. From lack of motivation motivation to memory and behaviour, how well we are able to deal and process things, all these things are tied to whether or not you had a decent meal that day. I’m so proud of everybody interested in this relationship between food insecurity or inaccessibility and behaviour.”
The Gaton Foundation is known for being a closed loop service, taking in public dignity, diet, accessibility and emotional wellbeing into account at all steps. They don’t just equip you with the resources you think you need in the moment, but the tools to be able to grow, sustain and share unto others the care they so abundantly offer out.
Maui is an island in the Central Pacific, part of the Hawaiian archipelago. It is an island belonging to generations of Hawaiians and is a famous holiday destination for those seeking well-rounded luxury that looks like it’s been painted fresh in front of your eyes but is in fact very very real.
Famous CEOs like Jeff Bezos, Howard Schulz, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Thiel and Black Rock Chairmen each own mansions on the Island, worrying locals that the fire and recent land-grabbing attempts from agents will widen the gap between rich and poor or instead more concentrate on the rich.
Maui residents have pleaded with hopeful holidaymakers to respect their grieving time and give them space to heal. Travellers willing and able to lend a helping hand to the recovery of the Island and its people are sincerely welcomed.
To help the Gaton Foundation deliver their incredible services directly to the hearts and souls of the public, you can either donate directly to their website and equip them with the resources to be effective in crisis areas here, OR you can give directly to the Maui Food Bank that is tirelessly working to restore peace inside the hearts and bellies who have lost so much of their homes.
There is no more extraordinary act than giving. Serving oneself and the world returns to you wealth beyond imagination. Unity and hope bring growth, clarity, introspection, and healing. We don’t need to wait for an occasion or a disaster to show our generosity; as long as our basic needs are met in life, we are in the perfect position to extend that fortune to someone looking up to our situation. The Gaton Foundation are placing their feet down in history as figueres who shine the light during the most pressing of times. Souls that the world needs and admires through all ticking seconds.
Thankyou to all workers at the Gaton Foundation who provide health and dignity to our world!