CHICAGO —  Search teams and aid poured into Turkey and Syria on Tuesday as rescuers working in freezing temperatures and sometimes using their bare hands dug through the remains of buildings flattened by a powerful earthquake.

The death toll climbed above 7,700 and was expected to rise further.

Several Chicago organizations have come together to collect donations for the earthquake-stricken region. One of those groups is the Turkish consulate in Streeterville and another is formed by a group of local doctors.  

“Sometimes a picture can be worth a thousand words,” said Dr. Mufaddal Hamadeh, board member of the Syrian American Medical Society. “You can take a look at those pictures and feel that those are people that could be us and anybody here.” 

Those images hit close to home for Hamadeh who was born in Syria and visits the area often.  

That’s why he has joined several local doctors through the Syrian American Medical Society, also known a SAMS, to help gather supplies for the earthquake-stricken region.  

“Needles to gauze, masks, gowns to anything that can be disposable,” said Hamadeh. 

In addition to this, SAMS is also collecting monetary donations through the group’s Facebook page and GoFundMe.  

“We have designated a warehouse in Orland Park and as we speak, it is collection donations of hospital equipment to send out there as soon as possible,” said Hamadeh. 

SAMS joins other donation efforts in the area that are calling for gently used or new items for people of all ages.  

Organizers said the donations will be transported through Turkish airlines and a collaboration with the Turkish Embassy to deliver the items to the impacted areas.  

“Our population has big hearts, and they will be very thankful for anybody that contributes,” said Hamadeh.  

Drop-off locations are listed below:

  • TACA Building: 3845 North Harlem Avenue, Weekdays: 4 pm to 7 pm; Saturday noon to 5 pm; Sunday 10 am to 4 pm 
  • Turkish Consulate in Chicago: 455 North Cityfront Plaza Drive #2900, Weekdays 9 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm.
  • SAMS Warehouse: 16308 107th Avenue, Unit 10, Orland Park, IL 60467. Please call: (708) 971-9817.

Items needed:

  1. Kids and adult Winter clothing  
  2. Boots, raincoats, pullovers, 
  3. Gloves, scarves, hats, 
  4. Socks, underwear. 
  5. Tents, blankets, sleeping bags, 
  6. Flashlights, power bank, generators 
  7. Baby food, diapers 
  8. Cleaning supplies, toiletries 

For more information on how to donate, go to: