Turkish and German culture clubs hold fundraiser to provide disaster relief to Turkey and Syria


The Turkish and German culture clubs have worked diligently to fundraise in order to aid victims of the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

In February, a 7.8 Richter scale earthquake hit Southern Turkey and Northern Syria, inflicting major devastation on the region. Identified as the worst natural disaster in the region within the last 100 years by the World Health Organization, the destruction led to tens of thousands of deaths in the affected regions. The plight of the stricken was made all the worse by incompetent relief responses on the parts of local governments, a civil war in Syria accompanied by western sanctions and government repression, and faulty, susceptible infrastructure.

And yet, amidst the tragedy, the world managed to come together. Over a hundred countries have pledged aid and relief to victims of the earthquake. Millions of dollars in monetary aid and humanitarian assistance is being directed to the disaster zone. The world has not forgotten the afflicted.

And nor has Cherry Hill East. The recently formed Turkish Culture Club and the German Culture Club have partnered together to help raise funds for disaster relief. 


Volunteers set up a donation table outside of Cafeteria 1.

“So many people need support and help. People are trapped in the rubble and cold, so the money is going towards saving those who are in danger and providing aid….we need to help those who are in a less fortunate condition…since we have the resources that can benefit them more than we can imagine,” wrote Gulmira Yesilyurt (‘23), President of the Turkish Culture Club. Together, the two clubs and their volunteers maintained an awareness and fundraising table outside of Cafeteria 1 for two weeks. They also held fundraisers in conjunction with a weekend card show at East. Hot dogs and other treats were sold, with all revenue going to Embrace Relief, a charitable foundation currently working to aid earthquake victims. 

“It made a whole lot of sense to ask people, ask my students to come in and, as a club….help raise funds in solidarity with the people who are suffering. The connection with Germany and Turkey is obviously strong.” said Mr. Graff, advisor to the German Culture Club,  regarding the dual-club relief efforts.  Indeed, the cries for aid across the ocean have not gone unanswered, at least by the Cherry Hill community.

The culture clubs also worked to fundraise at a weekend card show at East.

“Although this is not a time for joy, this is a time when we can gather our resources in the community and help support and reach out in a

human way…and you know, that’s [who] we are at Cherry Hill East.” adds Ms. Jones, advisor to Turkish Culture Club.

Since its inception, this humanitarian aid project has raised over 4,000 dollars, though this has fallen unfortunately short of the $10,000 goal set at the start of the fundraiser. “At first, we did not receive many donations, since people were not aware of how severe and serious the [disaster] was.” said Yesilyurt. Indeed, the biggest issue facing the project has been a lack of overall awareness.

For those wishing to aid in the combined fundraising efforts, the QR code below provides a quick link for donations to the Embrace Relief Foundation, a nonprofit organization currently supplying relief aid to the afflicted regions.

A QR code with which readers may donate to Embrace Relief, a nonprofit organization currently working to supply aid to beleaguered regions.