Skip to main content

We know many of you are concerned about the people and places impacted by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, which will require a great deal of immediate aid and long-term recovery in affected areas. Even if you are not directly connected to the region, there are many in our Carolina community with direct connections who are feeling its affects. We encourage you to find ways to support the local Turkish and Syrian communities and contribute to organized aid efforts, as you are able. Here are some recommendations from members within our campus community:

  • The UNC Turkish Students Association organized a fundraiser for the victims of the earthquake on Wednesday, Feb. 8 in the Pit. All proceeds will go to the Turkish Red Crescent. The UNC Turkish Student Association is also planning a Fundraising Iftar for Earthquake Relief in Turkey on March 27 from 7:30-9 p.m. and a Benefit Concert for Earthquake relief in Turkey on April 28. Follow the UNC Turkish Students Association on Instagram or contact for more information.
  • The Sancar Turkish Cultural and Community Center in Chapel Hill is encouraging donations to the Bridge to Turkey Fund to support the relief work of their partner and sister organization, Bridge to Turkey.
  • Turkish Philanthropy Funds has created a Turkish Earthquake Relief Fund, which you can learn more about and contribute to here.
  • The UNC Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies has sent out the following suggestions to consider:
    • The most organized and effective NGO on the ground appears to be Ahbap. You can make a contribution on their webpage.
    • The AKUT [Search and Rescue Association], an NGO, is a reputable organization. Their webpage should allow monetary contributions.
    • A New York City based philanthropic organization, Turkish Philanthropy Funds, will send most if not all support to AKUT.
    • Closer to home, the Triangle-based Bridge to Turkey is also running a campaign.
    • For in-kind (as well as monetary) contributions, the Turkish Embassy in DC and its consulates around the country are also accepting donations. In-kind support can be mailed out to their addresses as well (e.g., you can purchase blankets, sleeping bags, etc. on Amazon and ship at their address); these will be sent to Turkey via commercial flights. Here is a link to their tweet.
    • Finally, please also note that we are not hearing as much from Syria. A Kansas City-based NGO, Syria Relief and Development is well organized on the ground in Northern Syria (also into southeastern Turkey helping refugees). You will want to consider supporting efforts in Syria, too.

Check back to this page for updates about ways you can support affected communities. If you have information to be included, please share it with us.


Since its founding in 1999, the Carolina Center for Public Service has been central to the University’s response and relief efforts in the aftermath of disasters in North Carolina, the nation and the world. CCPS serves as a hub for disaster relief information and other resources, including relief project grants.

For volunteer opportunities and donation opportunities coordinated by the State of North Carolina, visit the Volunteer NC website.

One great way to prepare yourself to be effective in future disaster response is to sign up for Gillings on the Ground, a free, six-week “mini-course” to develop skills needed to work with communities in disaster preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation.

*Donations to the UNC Disaster Relief Fund cannot be transferred directly to communities; rather, the fund enables Carolina’s efforts to support those communities. CCPS is committed to thoughtful and effective stewardship of all donations.


FEMA Guide: Volunteer & Donate Responsibly »

In the wake of a natural disaster, many people want to help but don’t know how to get started. Read tips on how to volunteer and donate responsibly.


Previous Disaster Relief Efforts

Carolina students, faculty and staff have helped support previous disaster relief efforts over the years, including but not limited to:

  • Hurricane Dorian, September 2019
  • Hurricane Florence, September 2018
  • Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria Disaster Relief, August and September 2017
  • Hurricane Matthew, October 2016
  • Nepal earthquake, May 2015
  • Hurricane Sandy, October 2012
  • Hurricane Irene, August 2011
  • North Carolina tornadoes, April 2011
  • Japan earthquake, March 2011
  • Hurricane Katrina, 2005
  • Hurricane Isabel, 2003
  • Hurricane Floyd, 1999