Eastern Iowa couple raising money for Turkey earthquake recovery - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Eastern Iowa couple raising money for Turkey earthquake recovery

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Rescuers in Turkey continue to pull survivors out of the rubble in the wake of a series of earthquakes in and around the city of Van.  Nearly 30 people have been rescued since Wednesday's 5.7 quake, which was an aftershock of the 7.2 earthquake that rocked the country October 23.  The images of the devastation are tough for Lynn and Dan Bolin of Clarksville, who called Van home for two years.

The Bolins wanted to help in the ongoing relief efforts, so they organized a "Taste of Turkey" benefit Thursday night.

600 people died and hundreds more were hurt when a massive earthquake rocked Van, Turkey last month.  And recent aftershocks have kept rescue workers busy.  The region was home to the Bolins until they returned to Iowa about 6 months ago.  Friends sent them photos of the damage and many of them are now living outside in the cold and snow.

"A lot of them are spending nights out in tents, even if they're told their homes are safe to go back.  A lot of them are afraid to go back because there have been so many aftershocks," said Bolin.

That's why Bolin and her husband wanted to act quickly, organizing a dinner to benefit the earthquake stricken region.  They're dishing out Turkish foods to help serve up some relief for communities still struggling to begin recovery.

"The friends we have on the ground say that the bigger city of Van is getting a lot of relief and response, but some of the outlying villages still need a lot.  And so we're hoping to see if there's a way to funnel some of these funds to the outlying villages that really need some help and aren't getting the relief they need," Bolin said.

Already, the community's expressed a lot of support for the Bolins' efforts to help their former homeland.

"We know that Iowans are really generous, and so we're really thankful we can be here at this time," said Bolin.

And the Bolins look forward to returning to Turkey one day soon to see how every dollar pledged by eastern Iowans makes a difference in the long road toward recovery.

The couple plans to turn over all the money they raise to a not-for-profit organization that's helping with relief efforts, potentially the "Red Crescent", a Turkish group similar to the Red Cross.

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