HAVERHILL, MASS. (WHDH) – A local college basketball team worked earlier this month to send aid to survivors of the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
The Northern Essex Community College men’s team have recently started their fundraising campaign. The reason is personal for the team that has three players from Turkey.
“Everyone has supported this idea and I’m really grateful for that,” said team member Metin Yavuz.
Each of the three Turkey players in the Northern Essex team have family members who were in the country during the earthquake.
“Millions of people were affected and it’s just sad,” said Mehmet Asik. “We’re just praying from here and trying to help in any way we can.
Head Coach Darren Stratton came up with the idea of a fundraiser for earthquake victims.
“We can go and win as many games as you want to win, but making a positive change or a difference in someone’s life is going to take forever,” he said.
The team asks for clothing and survival items such as tents, blankets and sleeping bags.
Players have said that supporting their teammates means the world to them.
“You’re not just a team, you’re a family and you have to be there on and off the pitch,” Asik said.
“It happened to us, it happened to our country,” Atasavas Kurtulus added. “But everyone is acting like it happened to their country too, so it’s a big deal for us.”
Donations can be dropped off at the Haverhill campus in Northern Essex until Saturday.
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