Tampa, Florida - Tampa Sister Cities recently held a fundraising event to benefit earthquake victims in Izmir, Turkey. Thanks to the generosity of local businesses and individuals, over $40,000 was raised to support Turkish earthquake relief. Tampa Sister Cities will present the money raised to the Turkish Philanthropy Funds earmarked for Ahbap, a highly respected Turkish relief organization.
The Tampa-Izmir committee of Tampa Sister Cities organized the fundraiser with generous support from corporations such as Pepin Distributing and Splitsville. Donations also included contributions from local businesses and community members who stepped up to ensure those affected by the tragedy will be provided with much-needed assistance.
"As soon as we heard about this disaster, we knew we had to do something," said Kamil Koc, Chairman of the Tampa-Izmir Committee of Tampa Sister Cities. "The outpouring of support from our community has been tremendous, and it is an honor to present this donation."
"We were devastated and didn't know how to help. But organizing this event showed us that when we get together, we can find a way to ease the pain of others! I was so proud of the community we belong to and made this happen." said Osman Yildirim, one of the principal event organizers and Co-founder of ARY-A investments.
Ahbap is committed to helping those affected by natural disasters like earthquakes in Turkey through its Emergency Response Program, which provides food packages and temporary housing for those most impacted by the tragedy.
"I was amazed by the generosity of the Tampa Bay community as numerous individuals gave without any direct connection to Turkey. One donor shared that he moved to Tampa after a Hurricane destroyed his home and understood the need to help after a natural disaster," said Oytun Tutuncu, CEO of Vision First Properties. "The diversity of its citizens, along with its generous spirit, makes it one of the greatest cities in the world."
"This tragedy has touched us all," said Alfred Goldberg, President of Tampa Sister Cities. "We are proud that our community came together so quickly during this time of need and look forward to making a difference onsite later this year."