PATERSON, N.J. (PIX11) – Speaking with a heavy heart, Jennifer Aydin from reality television show “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” along with her husband, Dr. Bill Aydin, are partnering with the City of Paterson to help Turkey and Syria recover from devastating earthquakes.
“The most disturbing video I saw was a slew of dead bodies lying in the streets right in front of a hospital that has no workers,” said Jennifer Aydin, whose parents hail from Turkey. “It was barren and vacant and it just looked like a scene from an apocalypse — from a movie.”
“Be generous, be considerate, and let’s all love each other,” said Bill Aydin.
Paterson is home to the largest Turkish population in the United States. Relief efforts quickly ramped up as the city hosted a vigil on Saturday for the more than 35,000 victims of the earthquakes. Mayor Andre Sayegh is calling on donations of sleeping bags and tents, specifically.
“We will not let Turkey or Syria down,” said Sayegh, whose mother was born in Aleppo, Syria.
The Diocese of Paterson and St. Joseph’s University Medical Center each donated $10,000 to Paterson’s relief efforts, which Sayegh said has exceeded $100,000. The man in charge of getting the donations to the countries is Huseyin Bayram, owner of Toro’s Turkish Cuisine, which has several locations in and around Paterson.
“We know it’s winter there, and the cold winter they need tents, clothes, and a lot of stuff they were needing,” said Bayram. “We’re all one and we’re all united … Thanks, everyone. It means a lot.”
Now through Feb. 24, you can drop off donations at Paterson City Hall or at PORTX INC. in Carlstadt.