Students raise money for Syria, Turkey

By Cheyanne Admire

On Feb. 6 a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit the area surrounding the border between Turkey and Syria, killing more than 36,000 people, and Louisiana Tech student Tibet Sancak is hoping he can assist his home country of Turkey from here in America.

Sancak said that although his immediate family was not effected, they are feeling the economic hardship. 

He is in a group chat with other Turkish students in the United States and said all of them feel the pain from Turkey. Sancak felt a desire to help and wanted to be a part of the relief effort to heal his country and his community. Therefore, he teamed up with Tech Coordinator of International Student Activities, Benjamin Olivier, to start a fundraiser for the Turkish Red Crescent. The Red Crescent serves the same function as the American Red Cross. 

“While I’m not Turkish and I have no personal ties to Turkey, I know that Ruston’s community is a very giving and loving people,” Olivier said. “I think back to the tornado in 2019 where people from Ruston and the surrounding area came together to help so many people affected.

“Just seeing the extreme show of generosity and quick response time was really eye opening to what this community can do. What I find extra special is we only have one Turkish student, and people are so touched by his story that they are just willing to give. He was enough for people to open their hearts.”

The Office of International Affairs started the fundraiser campaign this week and have already raised over $1,000 for families and citizens affected. They will be continuing the fundraiser throughout this week. 

Those interested in helping can visit Tech’s Student Center between 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For those that are unable to make it, donations can be made at the Turkish Red Crescent website.

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