Organizers running daily donation drive in Menands for Turkey earthquake victims

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Community members are collecting donations in Menands for people in Turkey displaced by the earthquake Monday. 

The death toll from Monday’s earthquake in Turkey and Northern Syria continues to climb, and local organizers are trying to get donations to the people impacted as fast as possible.

“Imagine, these people have nothing right now,” said organizer Aleyna Sarap.

Sarap and other community members have set up a daily donation drive at 100 Broadway in Menands from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Many families need jackets, blankets, sweaters, baby supplies and hygiene products. Freezing weather has only complicated things for those left injured and homeless. 

“It’s really cold, it’s winter, I mean, just imagine the cold here, same there and then there’s snow in certain locations as well,” Sarap said.

Hadi Ipek marveled at how everyone from his neighbors to the Turkish community has mobilized to help in such a short time. The Muslim community across several local mosques has come together to help as well.

“Our community, thank God, they’re really super. And they really help us a lot in every which way. So, we kind of got it together and we said listen, we need your hand, let’s do it,” Ipek said.

The supplies donated are headed to the Turkish Consulate in Manhattan to be shipped overseas. Contact information is available on the flyer below.

An expert at RPI, José Holguín-Veras, studies disaster relief and logistics with his research team. Holguín-Veras said right now, giving money to organizations on the ground is one of the most impactful ways to help.

“What they need is money and money donations is one of the most effective ways to help people in need,” he said, explaining that donating to organizations within Turkey can get cash to survivors, fast.

He says turkey has the infrastructure to form a disaster response. But with Syria at war, the country faces a more difficult recovery.

“In the case of Syria, it’s a country that has been at war for close to 20 years. The social networks, the human networks that are going to help tremendously on the Turkish side, they do no longer exist in the Syrian side because of the conflict,” he said.