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Wenatchee woman describes providing aid in Turkey after devastating earthquake

Over what Jamie Smith described as the most impactful trip of her life, she drove over 2,600 miles to distribute food, water and blankets to those impacted.

WENATCHEE, Wash. — Earlier this month KING 5 told you about a Wenatchee woman who helped in the aftermath of the earthquakes impacting Turkey

She's now back in the states, sharing her experience and describing what ongoing relief efforts look like overseas.  

"I get to walk away from this, but their lives are in shambles and it's going to take so much time to recover from that," said Jamie Smith, reflecting on what she said was the most impactful trip of her life.

"A lot of the buildings that were left standing, were no longer safe to live in,” said Smith. “So a lot of people were living in tent cities that were popping up or they were living around little fires that they were building between the rubble."

KING 5’s Brady Wakayama spoke with Smith, a nurse who lives in Wenatchee earlier this month. She along with three other volunteers through the non-profit organization Empact Northwest made their way to Turkey to provide help, just two days after the devastating earthquake rocked the country.

"You have a whole generation now that has lost somebody and there's just going to be that trauma that comes from that and just that grief, that comes from that so your heart just really went out to everybody there knowing what they have ahead," said Smith.

Over a 10-day period, she and her team drove more than 2,600 miles throughout Turkey providing food, water and blankets to countless families impacted. "So many people going through such a hard thing and just to see their generosity and their kindness and how good they were to each other is just a great reminder of the humanity that is still out there," said Smith.

Smith said she would be more than willing to go back to provide additional aid and hopes others will consider doing anything they can to help as well.

"I would just hope that if we had something that happened here in the U.S. to that scale that we would also be getting help from other nations because it’s too much for one country to deal with and I think the more we're able to help each other just makes it overall a better world," said Smith.


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