Earthquakes are perhaps the world’s most terrifying natural disasters. They trigger the fight or flight mechanism yet neither is possible and aftershocks can continue for days. On February 6, while most people were fast asleep in the area, a massive quake occurred devastating vast sections of Eastern Turkey and Northern Syria. So far the death toll exceeds 35,000 souls and is expected to reach 50,000 or more. Millions have been left without shelter, belongings, and utilities. The cold winter weather is expected to kill many more of the unsheltered. The best way you can help the victims is by contributing financially.
One of the seven themes of Catholic Social Teaching is the Option for the Poor and Vulnerable. It states, “A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring.” From the comfort of our suburban homes, so many miles from the devastating quake, it is not likely we can physically lend a hand in the rescue and recovery effort, but we can certainly give of our financial resources. Donating cash, rather than sending food, clothing, and other goods, helps organizations on the ground purchase locally, respond more rapidly, and jump start the economy in the process.
Here are some reputable charities that have hit the ground in both nations and could use your financial support.