COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Members of the central Ohio community are continuing to help with earthquake relief efforts for Turkey and Syria, where more than 40,000 people have died.
For some, it’s a crisis that hits close to home.
Students at Ohio State University from that region affected by the earthquakes still have family members there, and they’re stepping up to do their part, as are others around Columbus.
On a warm February night, students, faculty, and other community members stood shoulder to shoulder at the oval at Ohio State.
“Right now, we just need to help as much as we can,” said first-year PHD student Can Alpay.
Coming together to pray in honor of the lives lost in the Feb. 5 quakes, community members are urging others to help.
“You realize, in those type of moments when people need you and you can’t physically be there to help them, you want to do something, like raising awareness or finding some donations,” Alpay said.
Alpay, from Turkey, said his family is OK after the earthquake, but he has close friends who lost several relatives. He said with everything going on in his native country, it’s hard to focus on his schoolwork when all he wants to do is help.
“I can’t follow the classes,” he said. “It’s kind of impossible for me to just sit there and pretend nothing happened.”
Several groups on the Ohio State campus are working on ways to support the region, as is the Turkish American Association of Central Ohio. Ecem Parks is letting the non-profit use her business’ warehouse to sort much-needed items that have been donated.
“I can feel the pain,” Parks said. “Especially when you’re here, you’re pretty much useless or you feel that way, you have to do something, so we talked and we said we can use this warehouse.”
The Turkish American Association of Central Ohio is also raising money, and donations can be made by clicking here. The association held a fundraiser in Polaris last weekend and plan to hold one in Easton this weekend.