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NJCDC Assists RHONJ Cast Member and Turkish American Jennifer Aydin and the City of Paterson with Earthquake Relief Efforts

NJCDC Assists RHONJ Cast Member and Turkish American Jennifer Aydin and the City of Paterson with Earthquake Relief Efforts

February 17, 2023

On Monday, February 6, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey and northern Syria. Over a week later, the region has experienced more than 2,000 aftershocks, causing even more damage, as well as a severe winter storm that delayed rescue efforts, leading to over 40,000 confirmed deaths in Turkey and Syria. One of the cast members of the Bravo reality television show Real Housewives of New Jersey (RHONJ), Jennifer Aydin, and her family are Turkish, and they were motivated to do something to help the victims.

They looked to Paterson, which is home to the largest community of Turkish immigrants in the United States and also has a strong Syrian presence. Many people who live in Paterson immigrated to the U.S. from Turkey or Syria. As one of Paterson's largest nonprofit organizations, we partnered with the Aydins and the City of Paterson to facilitate their fundraising efforts.

On Wednesday, February 15, Jennifer joined with Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh to announce the earthquake relief efforts for Turkey and Syria—the NJ Earthquake Relief Fund. Other special guests included Jennifer's fellow RHONJ cast member Dolores Catania, a Paterson native; Jennifer's husband, Dr. Nebil "Bill" Aydin; Ken Morris, Vice President of External Affairs, St. Joseph's Health, Dr. Aldo Khoury, Chief of Perinatology, St. Joseph's University Medical Center; and Bishop Kevin J. Sweeney, Diocese of Paterson.

Addressing those in attendance, who also included Jennifer's mother, Toros owner Huseyin Bayram, Paul Connell, and staff from NJCDC and St. Joseph's Health, Mayor Sayegh said, "We are here to help! It is unfortunate what we've had to witness in Turkey and Syria, seeing those harrowing images of buildings collapsing and individuals losing their lives." He continued, "The people of Paterson stand in solidarity with the families affected by this devastating earthquake, and we will continue to do everything we can to support the relief efforts." He also thanked Jennifer for her commitment to making a difference, saying "You're not just a Housewife—you're also a humanitarian.

In a passionate speech, Jennifer said, "Having both my parents born and raised in Turkey, this devastation is personal." On receiving videos from her cousins in Turkey on what is currently going on there, she said, "It is an absolute catastrophe, and whatever help they have, it's just not enough. We can't let their cries fall on deaf ears, and as generous as the donating has been, it's not really what they need. We are in communication with the Turkish Embassy and what they really need are blankets, sleeping bags, and money."

NJCDC Founder and CEO Bob Guarasci was glad to partner with Jennifer in the relief effort, saying "Anytime anyone in the public eye decides that he or she wants to use their profile to benefit a worthy cause, it's a good thing—and at present there is nothing more important than helping those suffering in Turkey and Syria."

If you would like to donate to the NJ Earthquake Relief Fund, please visit 100%* of all donations will benefit victims of the Turkey-Syria Earthquake. *excluding processing fees

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