A US-based non-profit has mobilized millions of dollars’ worth of relief supplies to help the victims of two powerful earthquakes that jolted southern Türkiye, killing some 6,000 people at last count and leaving many in need of assistance.
Speaking to Anadolu, Mubashir Kazi, a Pakistani-American from the Global Empowerment Mission, which was founded in 2011 as a first responder to global disasters, said they had amassed roughly $10 million worth of relief items over the past 24 hours as of Tuesday afternoon, including medical kits, food items, warm clothing and blankets.
Noting that the aid is currently at their warehouse in Doral, Florida, Kazi said the items will be shipped to Istanbul, Türkiye via a Turkish Airlines flight later in the evening with the help of Türkiye’s Embassy in Washington, D.C. and the Consulate General in Miami.
“I'm overwhelmed with grief and sadness,” he said over the deadly earthquakes that hit the southern provinces of the country.
“It's not something that is very easy, especially for a country like Türkiye, which I have a great deal of love and affection for,” he said. “I cannot express in words how I feel right now.”
He said the Global Empowerment Mission will continue to collect donations through their website globalempowermentmission.org
Speaking about himself, Kazi said he has “very significant business and personal ties” with Türkiye.
“So I reached out to the ambassador's office and they responded with overwhelming gratitude and with open arms to provide us with tremendous support,” he said.
“We've been able to mobilize in our dispatching over 100 pallets of relief goods within 24 hours of us making contact. We've identified and allocated over 1,000 pallets to ship out within the next five to 10 days.”
Kazi stressed that this is an aid effort from the American people and American donors to the nation of Türkiye.
Explaining his connection to Türkiye as a Pakistani-American, he said: “This has had a very personal effect on me because the Turkish and Pakistani people enjoy a very special relationship.”
“I was introduced to Turkish culture at a very early age and through the years enjoyed a beautiful bond with all of my Turkish friends,” he said.
“Helping with this disaster has become a personal challenge for me that I need to take on with a great deal of personal emotion.”
Turkish Americans and American citizens across the country have launched many fundraising campaigns to help the victims of the two powerful earthquakes that jolted southern Türkiye.
The Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C. shared a list of aid materials on social media Monday for those who are willing to help residents in need in Türkiye.
The materials donated across the US and collected at the embassy include blankets, tents and winter clothing. They are shipped to Türkiye every night via Turkish Airlines.
Turkish consulates in Miami, Houston, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles are also collecting materials for the quake victims.