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Local Hawaiian restaurant aims to help Maui fire survivors

From Aug. 15 - 31, 3% of sales, not profit, will go towards the Maui Strong Fund.
Aloha Pacific Island Grill
Posted at 8:42 PM, Aug 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-17 21:42:49-04

CORPUS CHRISTI — More than 100 people are dead and more than 1,000 are still missing after the massive fire in Maui, Hawaii.

To help the families affected by the devastation, a restaurant in the South Side of Corpus Christi will be donating a portion of their sales to a non-profit with boots on the ground.

“It’s just sad,” Carl Bernardo said. “A lot of people lost their lives.”

Bernardo is the owner of Aloha Pacific Island Grillat Staples Plaza near Timbergate and S. Staples Street - a Hawaiian restaurant.

“There’s not really no Hawaiian food here in Corpus Christi,” Bernardo said. “There’s some poke shops as well.”

Bernardo is Filipino and has a love for Hawaiian food.

“It’s closely tied to Asian cuisine as well,” Bernardo said. “If you actually go to Hawaii, there’s a lot of Filipinos. There’s a lot of Koreans there. There’s Chinese. A lot of Asian cultures are poured into there.”

Bernardo said as soon as he found out about the fire, he knew he had to help. 3% of his sales, not profit, from Aug. 15 - 31, will go towards the Maui Strong Fund.

“They don’t charge for processing transfer which is kind of a sign that they don’t want to profit for donations, unlike others where they charge you for processing fees,” Bernardo said.

“I think it’s a great thing,” customer Frank Esquivel said as he was on his way into the restaurant.. “Somebody’s gotta help them.”

The Maui Strong Fund is a non-profit that helps provide shelter, food, financial assistance and other services to those affected by the fire.

“Like I said, I’m from the Philippines and we get hurricanes there,” Bernardo said. “Something catastrophic is always very, very, very life changing.”

“My sister-in-law she visited there recently, and she had a couple of friends over there,” Esquivel said. “One of them is still there and I don’t think they’ve heard from her yet."

Esquivel said said he hoped more people think about donating, even if it’s not through buying food.

“It’s a good thing these people think about them,” Esquivel said. “We all do. We are all united to help each other.”

Bernardo said he would post QR codes on the restaurant’s windows in case customers want to donate directly to the Maui Strong Fund.

Bernardo said the best way for people to help is through their wallet.

“If you donate goods, they still need to ship it over the ocean basically,” Bernardo said. “And it’s nine hours over the plane. It’s hard to get stuff there. At this point, money is more important to donate.”