LOUISVILLE, Ky. — More help is on the way for earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria. In the grips of a growing humanitarian crisis that may seem a world away, Louisville organizations are closing the gap.

What You Need To Know

  • On Feb. 6, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey and Syria

  • The death toll has now suprassed 40,000

  • The number of injured is estimated well above 100,000

  • Louisville nonprofrits and volunteers are sending bleach makers, food and medical supplies to help out

“What we’re doing here is going to touch so many lives,” Giovani Oliveira told Spectrum News. Oliveria is an employee of SOS.

Oliveira checked off an inventory that will soon save lives—the boxes loaded with medical supplies, gowns, masks, blankets, food and bleach makers will be in the air in a few hours.

These donations were assembled by three separate nonprofits in Louisville and booked on a flight to Turkey, thanks to the UPS Foundation.

“We’ve been involved in many natural disasters, and you do not become immune or desensitized no matter how many you’ve been through,” said Denise Sears, president of SOS. The group collects and distributes unused medical supplies around the world.

Also on the flight are bleach kits from WaterStep. Mark Hogg is the founder and CEO of the company that makes and ships bleach makers, large and small, to developing countries and areas stricken by natural disasters. Both WaterStep and SOS have a sizeable global footprint.

“So, WaterStep, on this shipment has about 80 of our disinfectant machines that can produce, together, 4,000 gallons of disinfectant an hour,” Hogg explained. “This disinfectant is very strong. It can disinfect medical waste, or it can be used to disinfect surfaces.”

Bleach is vital for hospitals and triage units treating the tens-of-thousands of people injured in the massive Feb. 6 quake.

Also vital are the fortified meals included in this shipment, made possible by the Louisville nonprofit, Love the Hungry.

“Those meals are very easy to store, to transport and easily prepared with just a few cups of water,” said executive director Dale Oelker.

Oelker says 70,000 meals can provide 600 families of four with one nutritious meal every day for a month.

The UPS Foundation has arranged the transport to Turkey with a single stop in Germany along the way. The supplies are expected to land in Turkey within less than 24 hours after taking off from UPS Worldport.