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Michiganders with loved ones dead & missing in Turkey hold weekend fundraiser to help

Posted at 8:01 PM, Feb 12, 2023

WIXOM — How do you describe the feeling of losing 12 of your relatives in a once in a lifetime earthquake?

Hanife Moran says you can't; "There is sound coming in the background while I’m talking to my uncle. Sound from the building. I’m talking to my relatives and you can hear in the background crying, people screaming. My uncle's like 'Yeah, that’s one of the buildings the voice is coming from, they can’t do anything.'"

Moran is from Adana Turkey, one of the cities affected by the February 6 massive earthquake that has killed over 28,000.

Moran says she moved to the United States in 2021 but says most of her relatives are still in Adana, 12 of them are now dead, other are missing in the miles of rubble that used to be home.

"There’s still so many of my relatives under the buildings," said Moran. "It’s devastating there, my uncle was there and his nails are all coming apart."

Moran says it's difficult for her to put together sentences as she processes the loss, and imagines the pain thousands are experiencing at this moment.

But she refuses to stop moving.

She's one of a dozen helping pack boxes of supplies to send to Turkey as part of the Turkish American Cultural Association of Michigan's weekend fundraiser.

Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at their Wixom location they're asking people to come donate winter camping gear and winter clothes for those now homeless.

You can also donate money on their website.

Hulya Erol Garvett, also from Turkey said, "All the people that need help are homeless and the temperature is very very cold so they don’t have no clothes, no shoes and no place to sleep."

One of the top donations being asked for is winter sleeping bags for when temperatures hit extreme lows at night.

The death toll across Turkey and Syria is expected to rise exponentially.

66,000 people are missing and voices can be heard underneath the rubble for miles.

It's the kind of terror that's hard to imagine, but Moran says is very much real and needs our help.

"I don’t have any more tears left because everyday calling me mom and when she’s speechless I know one more person is gone," said Moran.