Northern Virginia leaders to launch fundraiser for victims of Syria and Turkey earthquake

Fairfax County’s Urban Search and Rescue Team was deployed to Turkey as part of USAID’s response to the Feb. 6 earthquake that hit that country and Syria (via VA-TF1/Twitter)

Northern Virginia leaders are taking steps to assist victims of the earthquake that devastated Turkey and Syria in early February.

In an effort organized by the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC), elected leaders plan to announce a local aid program to collect funds that will be used to purchase food packages for those affected by the disaster.

In a release, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey McKay said the profound loss of life in Turkey and Syria is heartbreaking.

”But I’m proud to be a part of a community that rallies together to help those in need both regionally and internationally,” McKay said.

The goal is to raise $25,000, according to NVRC Executive Director Robert Lazaro Jr. The money will be used to purchase more than eight tons of food. Each package contains 30 pounds of food and costs $45.

“We are working with [the nongovernmental organization Embrace Relief] that is purchasing food packages in Turkey which in turn are distributed to area residents,” Lazaro said in a release.

NVRC Chair John Chapman said residents and businesses have always stepped up to help those in need. Previously, the region collaborated on a winter clothes drive that sent tons of blankets, coats, socks and gloves to Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Russian invasion.

“This time is no different. I urge folks to visit the website to make a donation to provide food to those families tragically impacted by the earthquake,” said Chapman.

Members of Fairfax County’s Virginia Task Force 1 search and rescue team were deployed to Turkey and Syria after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit on Feb. 6, killing thousands of people and displacing millions. As of yesterday (Wednesday), the death toll reached roughly 51,000 people.

The task force, which was part of a national response team assembled by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), returned to Fairfax County on Feb. 20 after 11 days of searching for survivors.

Leaders will officially announce the program at the Fairfax County Government Center Forum on Friday (March 3) at 3 p.m. In the meantime, the commission has set up a link to collect donations for the victims.

Photo via VA-TF1/Twitter

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