Just days after earthquakes decimated a huge swath of Turkey, an Operation Blessing convoy drove through the night to reach our disaster relief team on the ground with truckloads of vital relief supplies. Among the first on the ground in Turkey, they set out to make a difference. Likewise, ongoing support from faithful friends like you enabled us to move swiftly to help victims of the earthquake as soon as we heard the catastrophic news.
Our international disaster relief team started preparing to deploy the very day of the initial earthquake, as aftershocks still rumbled. Multinational team members, including leader Diego Traverso, reached Turkey shortly after and made their way through to the center of the impact zone just as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, additional love and support poured in from friends like you in response to this historic quake—which decimated an area about 300 miles in diameter and took the lives of tens of thousands of people.
As many as 14 million souls were affected by this horrific tragedy. The survivors were left traumatized and reeling after losing family members, neighbors, homes, belongings, and even their entire communities.
One victim in Turkey named Abdulkerim explained to us the horror of his family awakening to an earthquake. “The ground floor of our building was gone. They threw a rope. I tied my children and they went down, then my wife, then me,” he said. “Of course, we had no socks, no shoes. Then the building collapsed. We didn’t believe we would be rescued. We thought death had come at that moment.”
A mother of three named Grace also made it out with her children, but she said, “I’m very scared for my kids. Where will we go? How will we live? It’s very difficult. Help us—we need food, water, shoes, everything!”
In Turkey Providing Earthquake Relief
Thankfully, these families survived. And soon a wide-scale humanitarian effort involving charitable organizations and rescue teams from around the world was underway to help families like Abdulkerim’s and Grace’s. Operation Blessing’s staff and volunteers were right in the middle of it.
Traverso said, “I never thought in 10 years of working in disasters that the magnitude of this disaster was possible. The despair and the suffering are huge, and Operation Blessing is here to support the victims.” Our team of specialized staff and volunteers was multinational, multilingual, and multigenerational, with expertise in medical care, clean water, and more.
Because of friends like you, we were quickly able to distribute vital supplies in some of the hardest-hit areas. We set up distribution centers and kitchens with stoves to cook hot meals. We handed out relief items like food, drinks, diapers, fuel, and solar lights. Through these efforts, you provided help, medical care, comfort, and perhaps most importantly, hope.
In some cases, you even brought smiles to the faces of these victims in the midst of their heartbreaking new reality.
Grace said, “Thank you for the help. We have pillows, we have blankets to cover ourselves because it’s very cold. Thank you for the food they are sending and the water.”
At the time of writing this story, the relief had only just begun. We will keep you updated as time goes on. Thank you so much for reaching out to the precious people in these shattered communities. God bless you for your heart to give.