KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Yassin Terou, owner of Yassin’s Falafel House in Knoxville, is in Turkey to help first responders with relief work.
As of Feb. 12, more than 34,000 people have been killed after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey and northern Syria on Feb. 6.
After raising more than $200,000 to provide medical relief and food for survivors, Terou and a few other Knoxville residents traveled to Kahramanmaras, Turkey to help in person. Terou was born in Syria, and still has family in the devastated region.
“We started helping people with the food, we already did that for two days and today we are helping hundreds. We are cooking everyday,” Terou said.
Terou is working with Orange, an organization that provides support to communities that go through crises.
“It’s an organization here in Turkey and Syria, great people, now we are trying to work with them and see how we can help the most,” Terou said.
Mahmut Alchehadi is the CEO of Orange, and said they need more volunteers to help with recovery.
“The first time you come here, it’s shock. We see all the people in the streets when entering Kahramanmaraş… there’s a huge need in Kahramanmaraş and all the cities,” Alchehadi said.
Andrew Randazzo is the CEO of Prime Medical Training in Knoxville and also traveled to Turkey to help with relief. He is working with Orange to inform people about first aid.
“We’re going to be creating campaign videos, helping people understand how to do basic medical care, self-care for themselves, but also teaching people how to teach first responders how to do first aid care,” Randazzo said.