SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A San Diego surf shop is trying to help the people in Lahaina by selling custom T-shirts.
Inside Sun Diego in Belmont Park, a love for surfing ties people across the ocean together.
"The waves are top-notch, the best in the world," Sun Diego Vice President of Operations Pete Censoplano says of Hawaii. "It's somewhere as a surfer that you're going to go at some point in your life."
So when the fires in Maui broke out, Censoplano was instantly connected. Both to the waves and to the people on the island.
"In the surf shop world, we kind of all know each other," Censoplano says.
Censoplano and the people at the shop wanted to help the fire victims. They decided to sell T-shirts and donate items to people in Maui.
"The proceeds go to Maui, but you're also wearing it and other people are seeing it," Censoplano says, adding that he wants to also raise awareness about the state of Maui.
Starting Friday afternoon, all three San Diego Area Sun Diego stores are selling "Maui-strong" T-shirts.
The shirts cost $30 and 100% of proceeds will go to the Maui Sports Foundation, Censoplano says. Maui Sports Foundation is run by a friend he'd met in the surfing community, Kim Ball.
"(Kim) will make sure that the funds go directly to the families and businesses that had losses in the fires in Lahaina," Censoplano says.
The company has 1,000 shirts, with a goal of raising $30,000. Censoplano hopes San Diegan can make a difference in a community that needs help. He says if the fundraiser is successful and they sell out of shirts, they'll look for other ways to help people in Maui. That includes reordering more shirts and possibly partnering with other San Diego businesses.
"This is a long-term problem that is going to need a lot of help. So, whatever we could do to help, let's figure it out."