Temporary Oprah Winfrey, a part-time resident of Maui, was reportedly refused access to the Wailuku War Memorial Complex on Sunday, where survivors of the Hawaiian wildfires have sought safety. It seems that her being barred was a result of her turning up with cameras. “Our policy remains that no media are given access to emergency shelters out of respect for those who have come to seek safety and shelter,” read a statement from the County of Maui that was widely circulated. We appreciate Oprah’s understanding of our policy prohibiting camera crews and reporters from entering our emergency shelters and welcome her back to continue lifting the spirits of our community and giving aloha to the victims of the awful accident. Muchachos.

About half an hour after making this announcement, the county released an update, according to The Daily Mail.

To be clear, Oprah was able to stop at our shelter, and we are grateful that she told reporters and television teams to stay outside.

We are happy to have Oprah back to brighten the spirits of our community and extend our aloha to the victims of the terrible accident.

Her visit inside the shelter today was incredibly touching, and we are grateful that she was aware of our policy prohibiting reporters and camera crews from joining dignitaries and celebrities inside our emergency shelters.


Last week, Winfrey was seen at the Wailuku shelter distributing “cots, pillows, and toiletries,” as stated in the Instagram caption from the nonprofit organization Kāko’o Haleakalā.
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In a video that was uploaded on Sunday, Winfrey discussed her visit to the shelter on her Oprah Daily account. She stated that this week taught her the lesson that “when you don’t know what to do, you do whatever you can.”

“After the smoke and ashes have cleared and we determine the scope of the reconstruction,” she declared, “I will eventually make a significant donation.” She told stories of impoverished families that are thankful for one other despite living in cots and air mattresses and having little left to their names. “The rebuilding will just begin long after the camera crews have left and the rest of the world has moved on,” Winfrey declared, adding, “you’re going to see a lot of phoenix stories rising from the ashes here.”