A 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Turkey and Syria shook the ground for more than 200 miles on Monday, February 6. Now, following the natural disaster, Chicagoans are coming together to aid in relief efforts.
Following the devastating earthquake, organizations across Chicago and around the world are coming together to aid in any way that they can. Between fundraising efforts and donation drop-offs across the city, there are ways you can help from Chicago.
Here’s how you can help.
1. Drop off essential items at the Turkish Consulate in Chicago
The Turkish American Cultural Alliance is partnering with the Turkish Consulate in Chicago to collect items to send overseas. In donating gently used or new items to this cause, you can help support families who survived the devastation.
The items, which are being collected by TACA and the Turkish Consulate in Chicago, will be sent by Turkish Airlines to the disaster zone.
According to the Turkish American Cultural Alliance, those displaced are in need of winter clothes, formula and diapers, hygiene products, and shelf-stable food among other things.
Please find a list of top-priority items below:
- Winter clothing for adults and kids of all genders, including coats, boots, raincoats, pullovers, gloves, scarves, and hats
- Tent beds
- Sleeping Bags
- Flashlights, power banks, generators
- Baby food
- Cleaning and hygiene supplies
With the help of the Turkish Embassy, Chicagoans can aid those impacted as organizers are asking that items be new or gently used. Please also deliver any donations in an unsealed box or bag.
As for where you can make these drop-offs: head to the TACA Building at 3845 N. Harlem Ave. Chicago, IL 60634 any time between 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays. Weekend hours are from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.
You can also send money to the Turkish American Cultural Alliance at firstname.lastname@example.org via Zelle or Paypal. Please make sure to add “Earthquake Relief Fund” in the description.
Also, feel free to drop off donations, or make monetary donations to the Turkish Consulate in Chicago at 455 N Cityfront Plaza Dr. #2900 Chicago, IL 60611. Their hours are from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays. The consulate is also accepting direct monetary donations to the embassy’s account.
2. Donate supplies to organizations helping with relief efforts
Another location accepting donations to aid in relief efforts is the IQRA Foundation headquarters in Skokie. The earthquake, which impacted Syria and Turkey, has left many without shelter or basic necessities. The Islamic education group is coming together to ask for donations to help. Donations, like winter clothes, tents, blankets, diapers, and dry food, can be dropped off at 7450 Skokie Blvd. Skokie, IL 60077.
The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), a volunteer-based medical organization is already in the region and is currently accepting new and unused medical supplies.
They are collecting monetary donations through the group’s Facebook page and on their website. The organization is also asking for people to bring donated medical supplies and hospital equipment to an Orland park warehouse along with new and gently used items. The SAMS Warehouse is located at 16308 107th Avenue, Unit 10, Orland Park, IL 60467. Please call: (708) 971-9817 before arriving for drop-off.
The Midwest chapter of the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) has been on the ground working in Syria for years, but given the dire situation, their team of 1,000 doctors and medical staff are now working to aid emergency relief efforts needing medical supplies and donations to offer more help. As the earthquake destroyed some of the hospitals in the area, members of the staff are currently left in below-freezing temperatures, with some living in their cars.
3. Other organizations accepting donations in Chicago
UNICEF is also accepting donations as they are on the ground in Syria providing emergency water to all displaced residents and helping to reunite children with their families.
The Red Cross and Red Crescent are also helping by setting up crisis centers in the areas. Donate to help their efforts as they continue to provide blood, clothing, blankets, and additional materials, the humanitarian group is on location in Turkey and Syria to help.
Embrace Relief Foundation Chicago is also accepting donations. The MedGlobal group is asking for donations to help bring supplies and relief. They had about 100 people working on the ground prior to the earthquake, and are trying to bring medical supplies to open hospitals as well. With no electricity in the hospitals, they are also in need of diesel and fuel.
Donate to Doctors Without Borders, who have sent teams of physicians, and additional medical professionals to Syria. They are currently accepting donations on their page.
Donate to the International Medical Corps’s website online to help the non-profit continue to work in the area, providing medical and mental health services, along with supplies like blankets, clean water, hand sanitizers, and sanitary pads.
The International Rescue Committee is also accepting donations on their site to help victims in Syria and Turkey as they continue their work on the ground with over 1,000 members providing help.
As rescue efforts continue, we will update you with more information regarding how you can help.