LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Donations for earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria are stacking up in Louisville. 

What You Need To Know

  • A 7.8 magnitude earthquake has devastated a large region near the Turkey and Syria border

  • The death toll has suprassed 20,000

  • Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced

  • The Ahiska Turks Community Center in Louisville collecting donations for earthquake victims

Organizations from across the U.S. are sending volunteers, equipment and aid to Turkey and Syria following the devastating earthquakes earlier this week. Truckloads of donations will be sent from Louisville.

The Ahiska Turks Community Center near Bardstown and Watterson Trail is filling up with boxes of donations. 

On Thursday, Abdelaziz Elhafyani brought clothes from Fern Creek. “I got a message that they are collecting donations, so I thought it was a noble cause,” Elhafyani told Spectrum News 1.

As of Thursday, the death toll surpassed 20,000 because of the initial 7.8 magnitude quake and several very strong aftershocks. The exact number of people displaced is not known but could be several hundred thousand in Turkey and Syria.

“As soon as we heard about earthquakes, next day, like, even at night we would start collecting, sending messages, all this kind of stuff,” Nazilya Kilicoglu, a volunteer with the community center, said.

Clothing, shoes, blankets, tents,diapers and more are being dropped off.

Turkey-born Kilicoglu is sorting through it with a broken heart. “The community is struggling. It’s mentally, it’s hard. It’s painful. It’s painful to watch when your country is going through this. It’s painful to see what’s going on. It’s painful to see these babies, when they are taking these babies out. It’s hard,” Kilicoglu continued.

Members of the mosque are moving as fast as they can to collect as much as possible while determining the best way to have it delivered to relief organizations on the ground in Turkey. “Take care of them and help them out with all our power. All of us, church community and families,” said Ilkom Musayev.

On Thursday, Musayev, a member of the mosque, used his lunch break to collect several boxes of donations from around the city. He’ll collect more after his shift ends.