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How you can help earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria: These groups are taking donations

Philadelphia Inquirer 2/12/2023 Hira Qureshi, The Philadelphia Inquirer

A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit southeast Turkey and northern Syria on Monday, Feb. 6, killing more than 33,000 people and leaving tens of thousands injured. You might be wondering what you can do to help.

Here’s a guide to local businesses and groups currently helping people in Turkey and Syria and you can get involved.

Note: It’s always a good idea to verify charities when you decide to give. Try Charity Navigator, which evaluates nonprofits and recommends credible organizations based in the U.S.

Search teams in Turkey and Syria continue search for survivors of earthquake that killed at least 6,200

We’ll be continually updating this list. If you know of a nonprofit we should consider adding, let us know.

Turkish Philanthropy Funds

What it does: Kanella Restaurant is donating all sales on Feb. 8 for earthquake relief. But if you can’t make it out for lunch or dinner, the restaurant urges people to donate to Turkish Philanthropy Funds online. The non-profit organization is a U.S. community foundation for high-impact social investments dedicated to Turkish and Turkish-American communities.

How you can help: Dine at the restaurant on 1001 Spruce Street or donate directly on the website.



What it does: Bonnie Sarana Noll of Vanilya Bakery in South Philly is offering a bake sale of Turkish sweet and savory pastries for earthquake relief. The proceeds will go to AKUT, a non-governmental organization whose mission lies in search, assistance and rescue operations.

“Luckily we did not have any friend or family in the region where the earthquake happened,” Noll said. “My mom actively bakes at home with my kids, so a bake sale to raise money seemed like the most perfect choice.”

The menu is still in the works, but expect borek and pogca.

How can you help: Head to the bakery at 1611 E Passyunk Avenue on Feb. 11 and 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a “family affair at the bakery.”


Ahbap Derneği

What it does: Pera Turkish Cuisine on North 2nd Street in Northern Liberties has a GoFundMe to offer immediate support for recovery efforts. Donations will be transferred to Ahbap Derneği (the website is in Turkish but can be translated via Google Translate extension), AKUT and other non-governmental organizations working to help earthquake victims in Turkey. The fundraising goal is $100,000.

How you can help: Donate on the GoFundMe page.


AFAD Ministry of Interior Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency

What it does: Mehmet Kekec, owner of Isot Restaurant in Queen Village, is fundraising on GoFundMe “to help people in Turkey that got hurt, had their homes destroyed and for people that don’t have a place to stay.” His goal is to raise $1 million.

The proceeds will be donated to AFAD, the Ministry of Interior Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency — a government-established institution working to prevent disasters and minimize disaster-related damage, plan and coordinate post-disaster response, and promote cooperation among various government agencies.

How can you help: Make a donation on GoFundMe with Kekec or go directly to the website.


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) or Doctors Without Borders

What it does:MSF is an international organization dedicated to offering medical aid in countries affected by conflict, disease outbreaks and disasters like the earthquake in Turkey and Syria, where they are treating patients, donating supply kits and offering support. Weavers Way Co-op will have a special at-the-register fundraiser, matching all donations up to a maximum Co-op contribution of $2,000.

How you can help:Shop at Weavers Way Co-op in Chestnut Hill at 8424 Germantown Ave., Ambler at 217 E. Butler Ave., or Mount Airy at 559 Carpenter Lane this weekend or make a one-time or monthly donation on Doctors Without Borders website.



What it does:Using funds to support local nonprofits in affected areas, GlobalGiving is on the ground distributing emergency aid, including meals, winter items, bedding, and more.

How you can help:Donate to the Turkey and Syria Earthquake Relief Fund online. This group is registered in the U.S., so your donation is tax deductible.


Project HOPE

What it does: For more than 60 years, Project HOPE has worked on the front lines of the world’s health challenges with communities and health care workers. They are delivering urgently-needed medicines, supplies, training for health workers and other relief in Turkey and Syria.

How can you help:Donate online to help deliver lifesaving aid.

📞 844-349-0188, 🌐


What it does: UNICEF is on the ground for emergency responses and other initiatives prepositioning supplies, supporting response efforts and assisting with the recovery. The organization provides critical support and sending emergency relief to children impacted by the earthquake in Syria. Their focus is water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), child protection services, nutrition and education.

How you can help: Donate on the UNICEF website. UNICEF USA is U.S. registered, so your donation is tax deductible.


Islamic Relief USA

What it does: Islamic Relief provides relief and development for people in crisis in the U.S. and internationally, regardless of gender, race, or religion. The organization offers disaster and emergency relief alongside immediate assistance. Working with local partners, Islamic Relief is providing cash assistance to help pay for food, water, and medicine in Turkey.

How can you help: Head to their website to donate online.


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