NYMC Supports Relief Efforts for Victims of Turkey and Syria Earthquake
The NYMC Student-led Drive and Fundraiser Generated More Than $2,500 and In-kind Donations
The New York Medical College (NYMC) community came together to support a student-led fundraiser and drive to provide relief for the victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria on February 6 that left more than 45,000 dead and two million homeless. More than $2,500 was collected and donations of bedding, winter clothes, non-perishable food items, medical supplies and more overflowed from boxes in the Blanche and Albert Willner, M.D. '43 Lobby in the Medical Education Center.
In the midst of an exam week, first-year medical students Ariel Yusupov and Farhha Fatima Feroz, organized the drive and fundraiser with the assistance of fellow classmates and Anthony Sozzo, M.A., M.S.Ed., associate dean for student affairs and director of student financial planning and student activities. They partnered with the American Red Cross and Türkiye Earthquake Relief Fund for monetary donations, to be used to purchase food, shelter, medical supplies, front-line workers, housing assistance and other recovery efforts. Students, faculty, staff and clubs, including the NYMC Center for Human Rights, the Homeless Outreach Club, Infectious Disease Interest Group, and the student honor society, Alpha Omega Alpha, showed support for the month-long fundraiser.
“As soon as I heard the news of the earthquake and its devastating impact, I felt I had to do something,” said Yusupov. “I am so proud to be a part of a community that was able to come together so quickly and overwhelmed with gratitude for their generosity. I hope this will make a difference in the victims’ lives.”
As the largest organizations are only accepting limited eligible items, Yusupov has been coordinating with multiple smaller non-profit organizations and local community members to ensure all donated items are delivered to Turkey. Bedding, baby formula, tents and other portable living essentials will be sent to the Turkish Consulate in New York City, while all other donated necessities, such as nonperishables food items, clothing, diapers and medical supplies will be sent directly to the organization Ahbap in Turkey.
“We're all here because we want to help the people,” said Feroz. “We want to heal people. But even more than that, I truly feel, as global citizens, we have a duty to care for those who are struggling all over the world, especially when we are in a place of privilege and have the capacity to make even a small change.”
“I realize that it will take time to rebuild and emotionally recover from this tragedy, but doing what we can to help as students has been really amazing,” said Shelcie Fabre, SOM Class of 2026 and student volunteer. “The NYMC community has come together and really exceeded our expectations.”
“It gives me hope to see people of all creeds and nationalities come together for Turkey and Syria,” Lazaro Fernandez, SOM Class of 2026, student volunteer. “It really warms my heart to see so many of us come together for people halfway across the globe!
“There is a lot that happens we cannot control such as earthquakes, droughts and conflict,” said Sozzo. “However, when tragedy happens, I have witnessed our students take time out from their studies, organize a drive, and bring our community together to help others in need. NYMC has many strengths, but our students are right there at the top of the list.”