Markham’s Helping Hands unites community to support earthquake relief
By Scarlett Liu, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The devastating earthquakes in Syria and Turkey have displaced countless people and touched the hearts of people around the globe, including in the city of Markham. Under the organization of Regional Councillor Alan Ho, a project named Markham’s Helping Hands is accepting donations and passing them on to those affected by the disaster through the Canadian Red Cross.
On March 24, event chair Ho and honorary chair Mayor Frank Scarpitti hosted a fundraising event – “Markham’s Helping Hands Turkey & Syria Earthquake Relief ” at Xinfilx Media in support of providing much-needed aid and assistance to those affected by the earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria in February 2023.
Over $120,000 was raised during the event, and all the donations were directed to the Canadian Red Cross.
“This earthquake has left thousands of families without homes or food. Many of them have lost loved ones, and their lives have been forever changed,” shared Coun. Ho, who hosted two previous earthquake donation events many years ago, “I cannot begin to imagine how people suffer after a sudden disaster.”
Mayor Scarpitti attended to the event and expressed his gratitude to all the donors who generously supported the worthy cause.
“We don’t have a large Turkish and Syrian community here in the city of Markham, but numbers aren’t what motivates us. Compassion is what motivates us, so I think Markham’s Helping Hands reflect the spirit of Markham,” he said.
The activities and areas impacted by the earthquakes may evolve based on emerging needs and compounding humanitarian crises, while the donation will provide continuous vital humanitarian assistance to people in need.
Both Coun. Ho and Mayor Scarpitti are committed to continuing their efforts to support those impacted. “The outpouring of support and compassion from our community has been truly remarkable. Their kindness has shown that even in the face of disaster, we can unite as a community and positively impact the world,” Ho added.
Scarlett Liu is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter for the Economist & Sun.
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