BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — A vast swath of Turkey is growing anxious and desperate as the population deals with the loss of shelter, food and healthcare in the aftermath of this month’s devastating earthquake.
Now, a group in suburban Chicago is trying to ship supplies to help those in distress.
In Bridgeview, a group is collecting what they can to help comfort those who are suffering.
More than 40,000 people are dead and entire cities have been reduced to rubble.
It’s been 11 days since the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake, one of the most powerful ever recorded in the region, convulsed the country.
Scores of people are desperate and vulnerable as relief organizations struggle to reach them in bitterly cold weather.
In Bridgeview, 5,900 miles away, Halil Demir is working against the clock.
He is the executive director of the Zakat Foundation of America, a disaster relief charity where dozens of volunteers are working to collect, pack and ship vital items, like tents, sleeping bags and canned food to people who are homeless and hungry.
“You can not even imagine that whole city collapse, that there is no electricity, no water, no bathroom,” Damir said. “There is fear and desperation.”
Demir traveled to his hometown in Turkey the day after the earthquake and stayed for several days to assess the damage.
He said the scale of the disaster is so great that the response required is also on a global scale.
“This planet belongs to all of us,” Demir said. “Whatever happens on the other side of the world, impacts us.”
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In 2022, 91¢ from each dollar donated went directly toward programs serving those in need. 4¢ went to administrative costs & 5¢ went to fundraising costs.