How to Help Victims of Earthquakes in the Middle East

A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit southeast Turkey and Syria early Monday, toppling hundreds of buildings and killing and injuring thousands of people. 

A frantic race is underway to find more survivors and help the wounded as the death toll surpassed 7,000 as of Tuesday afternoon. The toll is likely to climb further as freezing weather and multiple aftershocks, including a 7.5 magnitude quake, have hampered the rescue efforts.

Many governments and aid groups have rushed to dispatch personnel, funds and equipment to help the rescue efforts in quake-stricken areas.

Here are some organizations involved in relief efforts in Syria and Turkey that you can help:

Before You Give

It’s always important to verify smaller organizations or those you are unfamiliar with before considering a donation. You check a charity’s legitimacy on Charity Navigator, which provides analysis of charities’ finances and rates their transparency. The Better Business Bureau’s also evaluates charities based on reviews, complaints, transparency and finances. 

Red Cross

The Red Cross in Turkey and Syria, called the Red Crescent, deployed teams in both countries and are providing hot meals and drinks, collecting and shipping blood to the impacted areas as well as providing psychological support to victims. Additionally the Red Crescent in Turkey is deploying tents and blankets to support the injured and evacuated and in Syria the organization is supporting search and rescue operations, providing first aid, performing emergency medical evacuations and transporting injured people to the hospitals. To donate specifically to the recent international earthquakes, the Red Cross asks donors to write “Turkiye (Turkey) earthquake” in the memo line of a check and mail it with a completed donation form to the Red Cross address on the form or to their local Red Cross chapter.

Turkish Embassy and Consulates

The Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C., and Turkish Consulates around the country are accepting in-kind assistance. Those interested are asked to send donations of blankets, tents, sleeping bags, pocket warmers, winter clothing and over-the-counter medications for flu, cold, and pain killers to Turkish Embassy and Turkish Consulates across the U.S. by mail or through in-person drop off.

Save the Children

Save the Children, the international youth humanitarian group, is also working to support children in both Turkey and Syria. Click here to donate. 

Direct Relief

Direct Relief is a humanitarian aid group that provides health services to people affected by poverty or emergencies. The organization is providing medical supplies from its facilities in the US and Europe for Turkey and Syria. Donate here. 


Americares trains local health workers to help people cope with the trauma of natural disasters and provides medical assistance to health facilities throughout the country. To donate to Americares click here.

Doctors Without Borders

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières is working with its local partners in northwestern Syria, including by supporting hospitals with staff and supplies, and donating emergency medical kits and blankets.  Click here to donate. 

Islamic Relief

Islamic Relief is on the ground in Turkey providing emergency medical assistance, shelter and cash grants to survivors. In Syria, the organization is working to provide health and medical supplies to hospitals and clinics, as well as blankets and tents for those who were made homeless by the Earthquake. Click here to donate.


CARE’s on-the-ground teams are in Turkey and Syria delivering blankets, food, mattresses, tents, and other essentials to the survivors of the earthquake. For more on CARES and to donate to the international aid group, click here.

World Food Program

The United Nations World Food Programme has operated in Turkey and Syria for year and said it will continue to provide food assistance to the vulnerable during the disaster recovery. Click here to help.

Project Hope

Project HOPE, a U.S.-based international humanitarian aid nonprofit, said it deployed emergency response teams to Turkey and Syria to help in search and rescue efforts, shipment, and coordinating distribution of emergency health kits, supplies and medicine. To donate to their disaster relief fund, click here.

Armenian Organizations

The following Armenian organizations are working to raise money, get clothes and food to the people of Syria and beyond.:

Bay Area Drop Off Donation Sites

Diyanet Silicon Valley is also gathering donations to help earthquake victims.

For more information, visit

Here are drop-off locations where organizers are collecting blankets, clothing and other goods to help quake victims:

  • Hidaya Foundation Warehouse, 57 Bonaventura Drive in San Jose
    10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7 to Thursday, Feb. 9
  • 802 Burlway Road in Burlingame
    Contact (call/text for timings): Ergün Gürsül 650 200 8832
  • 15789 Maubert Avenue in San Leandro
    Contact (call/text for timings): Oğuz Karatürk 856-332-8020
  • 5348 Shattuck Avenue in Fremont
    Contact (call/text for timings): Seyhan Akkoyun 510 676 7097
  • Zekat foundation of America, 860 Hillview Court Suite 145 in Milpitas
    Contact (call/text for timings): Murat Köse 669-400-6166
  • 996 Mission Street in San Francisco
    Contact (call/text for timings): Emre Sahin 415-712-5802

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