LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — After a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Southern Turkey two weeks ago, Siena College senior, and women’s basketball player, Sevval Instanbulluoglu knew she needed to help.
“I see those people everyday on my social media,” Instanbulluoglu said. “Some of them are gone and some of them are still trying to find their friends and family.”
4,913 miles away from home, she is now leading a supplies and donation drive – looking at needs for the Turkish Embassy to send to everyone impacted. So far, Instanbulluoglu, along with two other Turkish students and a professor at the college, helped collect coats, hygiene products, baby formula and tents.
“We have WhatsApp groups and one of them is just for the volunteers and they are giving information from the embassy to other Turkish people who want to help,” Instanbulluoglu said. “So I was looking at legitimate and fresh information from the embassy so that’s how I created the list of items that we need from Turkey.”
According to ABC News, the death toll from the earthquake has now surpassed 47,000 people. The region also experienced an aftershock Feb. 20, complicating relief efforts.
Instanbulluoglu said, while it’s difficult being away from home, she hopes she can touch someone’s life, helping her friends and community members.
“Everybody knows each other,” Instanbulluoglu said. “Our culture is so strong, we always help each other out if someone is in need.”
If you’re interested in helping donate to the relief efforts, you can bring your donations to the Siena Women’s Basketball Senior Night game on Sat. Feb. 25 at 7:00 p.m.