MMA star Ilima-Lei Macfarlane accidentally raised $2.6M for Maui wildfire victims

MMA sensation Ilima-Lei Macfarlane has spearheaded a fundraising initiative that has amassed an astounding $2.6 million to aid the victims of the devastating Maui wildfires.

Macfarlane is a resident of Honolulu, Hawaii, and has established a fund in response to the island’s devastation by flames that have claimed at least 115 lives. The star also spoke to TMZ Sports about the kindness she has seen in others.

In a video shared on a Saturday, Macfarlane expressed her gratitude for the overwhelming response to this initiative, with funds pouring in primarily through Instagram.

She said: “We have hit the $2.6 million mark and this is just on Instagram alone. The beautiful thing that I love so much about this fundraiser is that it wasn’t big corporations or big huge donors, it was literally people.”

The fundraiser gained significant exposure when notable celebrities such as actor Jason Momoa and singer Meghan Trainor shared the fundraising website.

Amidst her remarkable efforts and sporting commitments, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane remains focused on her upcoming fight against Liz Carmouche at Bellator 300, scheduled for October 7. However, the Maui wildfires have cast a somber shadow over what should have been an exhilarating period in her career.

MacfarlaneĀ  also told TMZ: “It was a super scary time and it was actually weird timing because [the fires] happened the day that we announced my title fight.”

“I just couldn’t be happy. I couldn’t be excited for this super awesome fight that I’ve wanted for so long just because of what was going on.”

Reports from locals recently suggested that the death toll had tragically risen to 480 people, highlighting the dire need for assistance. However, Macfarlane is not alone in her efforts to alleviate the suffering of Maui’s residents.

Renowned boxing legend Floyd Mayweather exhibited his compassion by providing vital support to nearly 70 families seeking refuge from Maui’s turmoil. Mayweather generously covered the costs of flights, accommodations, meals, and clothing for these families.

Professional golfer Collin Morikawa also stepped up to support the recovery efforts in Maui. He pledged to donate $1,000 for every birdie he scored during the FedEx Cup playoffs. Morikawa has a connection to the island, as his grandparents were born in the historic town of Lahaina on Maui.

Twelve professional sports teams in Los Angeles joined forces, collectively donating a remarkable $450,000 to the Red Cross.