Love Island star Abigail Rawlings launches Turkey-Syria earthquake fundraiser on GoFundMe page

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More than 25,000 people have died after an earthquake on the Turkish and Syrian border caused widespread devastation

An urgent fundraiser has been launched by former Love Island contestant Abigail Rawlings in the wake of a devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

The powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the border between Turkey and Syria and was followed by aftershocks in the early hours of Monday (6 February). It is estimated that over 25,000 people have died as a result of the natural disaster, while thousands of homes, schools and hospitals have also been destroyed.

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After hearing about the earthquake on the news, Rawlings was compelled to do everything possible to help those affected. She explained: “The earthquake and people in need are all over the news at the minute, and rightly so, seeing the horrific videos and shocking death toll stats was horrifying. I just couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw all that pain and suffering in one place.

“I felt so emotional and I was compelled to do something and take action - to help in any way I could to help increase awareness and raise funds for the people affected.”

“I don’t think you need to know the people personally to feel empathy”

The earthquake - the worst seen in Turkey since the Erzincan natural disaster in 1939 - was followed by dozens of strong aftershocks, hampering rescue efforts to find people under the rubble.

The disaster has caused widespread pain to many families in the area. Rawlings added: “I don’t know anyone personally that has died in the earthquake but I know it has affected some of my close friends who have relatives in the area. I don’t think you need to know the people personally to feel empathy and heartbreak and the whole situation really saddens me to the core.”

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A Turkish soldier walks among destroyed buildings in Hatay, on February 12, 2023. (Getty Images)A Turkish soldier walks among destroyed buildings in Hatay, on February 12, 2023. (Getty Images)
A Turkish soldier walks among destroyed buildings in Hatay, on February 12, 2023. (Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

The 2021 Love Island star is working closely with a selection of charities on her GoFundMe page and explained that the amount raised will be used to provide food, clean water, medical care and shelter to the people of Turkey and Syria.

Rawlings added: “These people have lost their homes, their family’s have been ripped apart and children are now parentless - their worlds will never be the same.”

“The more money we raise, the more we charities we can help”

The reality star has not set a specific goal for her fundraiser and she is simply hoping to raise as much money as possible to help the situation.

Rawlings said: “I have a selection of charities I’d like to donate to on my GoFundMe page, the more money we raise the more charities we can help. I know money is tight for everyone with the cost of living crisis, but if we donate as much as we can together that amount builds up.”

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Since leaving the Love Island villa, Rawlings has continued to pursue her passion as a Tattoo artist and she is also looking to use her skillset to help raise money for people in Turkey and Syria by offering a free tattoo day session to one of the people who donates.

She explained: “I want to use my skills to help so I’m donating my time by offering a free tattoo day session with myself, and pushing a GoFundMe page where people can make donations.

“ I’m so unbelievably grateful for every donation that’s been made so far, I hope to spread as much awareness and I hope everyone can continue coming together to support those affected right now in the best way we can.”

You can donate to the charity through Abigail Rawlings’ GoFundMe page. Over £1500 has currently been raised to support everyone affected by the earthquake.

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