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Here’s what you can do from Charlotte to help earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria

The Charlotte Observer logo The Charlotte Observer 2/21/2023 Mary Ramsey, The Charlotte Observer

Tens of thousands are dead and many more injured and displaced in Turkey and Syria in the wake of a devastating earthquake that struck the region in early February.

Powerful aftershocks, including one Monday, continue to create problems on the ground, but there are already numerous charities and relief organizations in the region looking to help victims.

And many of them, including some based in North Carolina, are in need of donations to help make life-saving work possible.

Here’s what to know about ways to help earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria from Charlotte and how to make sure your donation is getting to people in need:

Charities to help earthquake victims in Turkey, Syria

There are multiple organizations in North Carolina and beyond working to help earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria, including:

  • Baptists on Mission, a North Carolina-based charity, is working with partner organizations to send financial support to Turkey and search-and-rescue teams working on the ground to help survivors. To support their work, visit

  • Samaritan’s Purse, a North Carolina-based charity, has launched an emergency field hospital on the ground to help earthquake victims in Turkey. Donations can be made at

  • Doctors Without Borders,which provides medical care, medical supplies and support to local hospitals and partners, is on the ground in Syria and providing supply kits to other affected areas. You can donate at

  • UNHCR, also known as The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees or the UN Refugee Agency, is providing aid “to families left homeless” by the effects of the earthquake. To make a donation, visit at

  • Save the Children, which provides aid to young people affected by violence and disaster throughout the world, has issued an “emergency alert” in the wake of the earthquakes. To support their aid work,

How to avoid scams when donating to earthquake victims

Amid the chaos that can follow a natural disaster, it’s important to make sure your donation is going to a reputable group that will get it to the people in need.

The Federal Trade Commission recommends researching a charity before making a donation, including looking into their rating on platforms such as the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator and your state’s charity registry.

A simple Google search can also help, the FTC notes.

“When you consider giving to a specific charity, search its name plus “complaint,” “review,” “rating,” or “scam,” the agency recommends.

The FTC also recommends making your donation through check or credit card rather than cash, gift card or wire transfer and keeping a record of your payment.

Is GoFundMe a safe way to help Turkey and Syria?

Some are hesitant to donate to online crowdsourcing campaigns in the wake of major disasters due to concerns about the money actually getting to those in need.

One popular site says they’re taking extra steps to verify stories and where donations are going.

“Our Trust & Safety team reviews and verifies fundraisers to help ensure funds go to the correct recipients,” GoFundMe explained on its website. “We also take steps to verify that donors and organizers act in compliance with US and international laws and financial regulations.”

Visit to find verified fundraisers.

Know of more groups providing aid to earthquake victims? Email Charlotte Observer reporter Mary Ramsey at

©2023 The Charlotte Observer. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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