MENANDS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The need after the earthquake only continues to increase. After Ramiz Turan learned about the news, he discovered that everyone he knew had lost someone back home. So he immediately wanted to help.
“We were talking with friends, the four of us, we said, ‘why don’t we do anything?’ So we are here; we are fine. We are living in houses that are not cold. But other people- they are struggling,” he said.
According to the Consulate of Turkey, the four turned into dozens from the community volunteering their time to collect items to help with relief efforts.
“They sent us a list of items that were in need. And we said okay, but let’s see which items we can pick and have,” he said. “We picked ten items from the list, created a flyer, and posted it on social media.”
Turkish and Syrian restaurants around Albany started to share the flyer with others. And one community member owns a mall in Menands and donated space to collect and hold the items. He was shocked by how quick the response was.
“The morning we woke up… in the front of the door, it was full of stuff,” he said.
They also have been receiving calls from across the country from folks who were ready to donate items. They received so much that they now need to focus on what is the most needed: winter clothes, heating lamps, space heaters, sleeping bags, and tents since the area is experiencing frigid temperatures.
The volunteers box the donations and send the packages to the Turkish Consulate.
“From there, Turkish Airlines will be taking the stuff and then transporting it to Turkish Airlines, who will ship it for free,” he said.
According to the Turkish Consulate, the group of volunteers hopes to continue collecting for the next two weeks and then reaccess the need.