If you are a community member or a fire victim with a disability, Kelea Foundation is available to provide support. “We are here for you,” said Kelea founder Jenn Gladwin. “Kelea is a Maui-based non-profit, working with the County of Maui and numerous organizations dedicated to distributing durable medical equipment to those who need assistance. We work towards equity and advocate especially for marginalized communities to get access to the same things as the well-resourced community. Kelea creates programs and events that promote self-determination and strength in individuals, including sports programs for all ages.”
A lifeguard with medical training, Gladwin worked alongside emergency teams, starting Day One of the recent Maui fires to help identify people with disabilities and those with complex medical cases. “I immediately saw the need to advocate for those with special needs and to connect them to vital services and extended medical care,” she explained. “My team and I realized quickly that we would need to replace large quantities of durable medical equipment like wheelchairs, walkers, shower chairs, and more. We jumped into action and started sourcing these items from our community and then beyond. We have put together a statewide ‘disability hui’ of organizations and agencies who are working together to ensure Maui’s most vulnerable do not fall through the cracks.”
Kelea has been fortunate to acquire, through donations, many pieces of durable equipment, and have already served more than 150 people affected by the Maui fires. “Now, we are raising funds to open an accessible community resilience hub in central Maui,” Gladwin shared. “This location will serve as a storage and distribution center for medical equipment and related items. Additionally, it will provide a working space for social workers and specialists with whom we are in partnership to meet with clients in a safe, comfortable and accessible space. Our hub will be a community center for us to gather, plan, collaborate and heal as we move forward into extended assistance for our community. For me, the biggest priority is for the community to know that our services exist. Call if needed.” For more information or assistance, email TheKeleaFoundation@gmail.com, or call 808-344-2345.
Kelea Foundation was a recent recipient of a check from 100 Women Who Care. We hope to use the money for added community programs in our new location. Jenn Gladwin, Founder, Kelea Foundation