Neighbors Helping Neighbors
When a family lost their home to a wildfire in Lahaina, on the island of Maui, a local builder volunteered his time and skills.
Mario Tama/Getty Images News
When a wildfire swept through the town of Lahaina, on the island of Maui, thousands of people lost their homes. William Fincher and his family were among them. But thanks to the kindness of a local builder, the Finchers will soon have a new place to live.
Just days after the fire, builder Juan Ricci was already ordering the materials to build two tiny homes—smaller than average homes—with enough space for Fincher, his wife, their two kids, and their two dogs. Ricci paid for the materials out of his own pocket, and he and his crew are donating their time and skills. Fincher is helping. He’s not a professional builder, so Ricci’s crew is guiding him along.
“I’m good with tools, but I don’t know how to frame or put roofs on or lay foundation, electrical, you know, none of this stuff,” Fincher told ABC News. “Juan does, and Juan has the [workers] that know how to do this stuff.”
As of October, the land affected by the fire was not yet fit for rebuilding—officials were still clearing it of debris. That means it will be a long time before the Finchers and other residents can rebuild on their own land. Instead, Ricci’s crew is building the Finchers’ tiny homes on land owned by a family friend.
Construction isn’t cheap. So Ricci, who has his own bills to pay, set up a GoFundMe, a type of web page on which people can ask for donations. As of October, the page had raised nearly $19,000 out of a $100,000 goal.
“That’s the idea, to raise some money and keep going and start paying the guys that have been working, helping the people,” Ricci told Good Morning America. He’s hoping to use some of the funds to build homes for other Lahaina families as well.
“Everybody’s trying to help out right now,” Ricci said.