HAVERHILL, MASS. (WHDH) - A local college basketball team has been working to send help to survivors of the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria earlier this month. 

The Northern Essex Community College men’s team recently started its collection drive. The cause is personal for the team, which has three players from Turkey. 

“Everybody has supported this idea and I’m really grateful for that,” team member Metin Yavuz said. 

Each of the three players from Turkey on the Northern Essex team have family members who were in the country during the earthquake. 

“Millions of people were affected and it’s just sad all over,” Mehmet Asik said. “We are just praying from here and trying to help in a way that we all can.

Head Coach Darren Stratton came up with the idea for a collection drive for earthquake victims. 

“We can go out and win as many games as you want to win, but to make one positive change or one difference in someone’s life is going to last forever,” he said. 

The team is asking for clothing and survival items such as tents, blankets and sleeping bags. 

The players have said having the support of their teammates means the world to them. 

“You’re not just a team, you’re a family and you have to be there on the court and off the court,” Asik said.

“It happened to us, it happened to our country,” Atasavas Kurtulus added. “But everyone’s acting like it happened to their country too, so that’s a huge thing for us.”

Donations can be dropped off at Northern Essex’ Haverhill campus until Saturday.

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