By Marissa Valles
A donation drive gathered supplies to help those in Syria and Turkey following the earthquake on February 6.
East Los Angeles College hosted a donation drive for supplies such as medicine, clothing, first aid kits and baby items were collected. The donations will help those affected by the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that occurred on February 6.
The drive was organized by Khetam Dahi, an ESL professor.
“I knew I had the position and resources on our campus, since people have been very generous regarding good causes,” Dahi said. Dahi previously raised money to help those affected by the Syrian war. With the help of students and faculty, approximately $4,000 was donated to the United Nations World Food Program.
As a native from Syria, the current crisis is personal to Dahi.
“I was born and raised [in Syria] until I was 13. I also have many relatives and friends in Turkey who fled from Syria because of the war. I felt I needed to do something in any way that I could,” Dahi said.
Although students and faculty were notified of humanitarian organizations they could donate money to, this personal connection is why Dahi felt it was more important to collect medical supplies and other essential items.
Overall, Dahi has been satisfied with the turnout. Dahi said the amount of supplies that have been donated is overwhelming.
“My office, my car, and my living room are filled with medical supplies, such as bottles of Tylenol and Advil and baby items such as baby formula and diapers. Faculty have delivered items such as sleeping bags and other essential items for women and babies to my office,” Dahi said.
After collecting items, the focus will be on transporting them overseas to the affected areas. The supplies will be transported free of charge through Turkish Airlines, which Dahi found through social media.
“Once the items are shipped to Turkey, an organization called ‘Mercy Without Limits’ will be in charge of delivering half of the items to Turkey and the other half to Northern Syria,” Dahi said.
Dahi is thankful for the overwhelming support this cause has received from faculty and students.
“I would like to thank everyone who has been part of this much needed effort. I am grateful to be surrounded by generous and humane colleagues and students,” Dahi said.