We’re responding to the devastating earthquake in Syria and Türkiye by matching up to $90,000 in customer donations to the Mercy Corps Syria Earthquake Response and sending sleeping bags to Türkiye.
Bsanyna village in Syria's Harim District. At least 210 buildings have been completely destroyed and 520 have been partially destroyed by the earthquake. (Photo Credit: Mercy Corps)
Through March 2, we’re matching up to $90,000 in customer donations—$30,000 from the Cotopaxi Foundation, $30,000 from the Bonham Family Foundation, and $30,000 from an anonymous foundation.
Read on for FAQs about the situation in Syria and Türkiye, how we’re responding, and what you can do to help. Thank you for joining us in our effort to come to the aid of all the people whose lives have been severely disrupted by the earthquake.
Why is Cotopaxi responding to this crisis?
The sheer scale of this crisis is staggering. Over 36,000 people have lost their lives (reported as of February 13, 2023), and many, many more have been displaced by this historic 7.8-magnitude earthquake. Displacement—whether by natural disaster or conflict—is a major driver of global poverty, which is the core focus of the Cotopaxi Foundation.
How is Cotopaxi helping earthquake victims in Türkiye and Syria?
We've donated 920 sleeping bags to earthquake victims in Türkiye via the Turkish Consulate General of Los Angeles, which is mobilizing donations alongside the Turkish Consulate General of New York.
Our fundraising efforts are focused on Northern Syria, which is facing a crisis upon a crisis. For 12 years, some 13 million Syrians people here have been impacted and displaced by ongoing conflict, and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) warns that over five million Syrians may be displaced by the earthquake. Many of these newly displaced families were already refugees of the war. And the chronic food insecurities here will only be amplified by the earthquake.
There is also concern that Syria may receive less support due to the challenges of providing aid in the region. This is why we’re focusing our fundraising on the Mercy Corps Syrian Earthquake Response.
You can learn more about the specific situation in Syria here and about the earthquake aftermath across both Syria and Türkiye here.
People in Harim, Syria observing earthquake damage on February 6, 2023 (Photo Credit: Mercy Corps)
How can I help?
We’re matching up to $90,000 in customer donations to our longtime partner Mercy Corps. Of this match, $30,000 each from the Cotopaxi Foundation, the Bonham Family Foundation, and an anonymous foundation.
The Turkish Embassy and Turkish Consulates are accepting in-kind assistance. Those interested are asked to send donations of blankets, tents, sleeping bags, pocket warmers, and over-the-counter medications for flu, cold, and painkillers to the Turkish Embassy and Turkish Consulates across the U.S. by mail or in-person drop off. We’re donating 920 sleeping bags. Learn more about how to donate supplies.
Spread the Word
Post about how you’re supporting earthquake victims in Syria and Türkiye to rally others to help. You can follow & tag @mercycorps on Instagram.
Syria has limited machinery to remove rubble from structural collapse and damage. (Photo Credit: Mercy Corps)
How do you decide which humanitarian crises to support?
There are moments when we feel we must take action to help those in need, including crises that impact or displace more than 5 million people. We also step in when one of our impact partners reaches out for help with a campaign related to catastrophes of this nature.
A few examples of crises we’ve supported in the past:
- We offered our support for refugees of the war in Ukraine via our partner Mercy Corps.
- Since 2018, we have been actively assisting response and resettlement for Venezuelan refugees.
- In 2021, we supported refugees seeking resettlement as a result of the conflict in Afghanistan.
What is Mercy Corps?
The global nonprofit Mercy Corps is made up of 5,900 humanitarians working to create a world where everyone can prosper. In more than 40 countries affected by crisis, disaster, poverty, and climate change, they work alongside communities, local governments, forward-thinking corporations, and social entrepreneurs to meet urgent needs and develop long-term solutions to make lasting change possible. In 2022, Mercy Corps reached over 38 million people.
How is Mercy Corps responding in Syria?
With experience working in Syria since 2008, Mercy Corps is well-positioned to work with their partners on the ground to respond quickly and effectively to this crisis. Currently, their focus is on providing clean water, food, access to sanitation and hygiene, emergency shelter, and more essential supplies.
Mercy Corps teams and partners preparing to distribute kits (including a solar lamp, jerrycans, blankets, a carpet, and other supplies) in Northwest Syria. (Photo Credit: Mercy Corps)
How do I know my donation will be put to good use and reach the right people?
100% of customer donations generated through the Cotopaxi Foundation donation page between February 13-March 2, 2023 will be donated directly to Mercy Corps, a longstanding and highly respected Cotopaxi nonprofit partner. You can view a third-party assessment of Mercy Corps here.
The logistical challenges of responding to the earthquake in Syria include unreliable communications, dwindling supplies, limited shelter options, and poor weather conditions. (Photo Credit: Mercy Corps)