NAUGATUCK, Conn. (WTNH) — A Naugatuck police officer is going beyond the badge to raise money for his home country of Turkey – after a disastrous earthquake killed thousands of people in both Turkey and Syria.

Ofc. Erol Okten was born in Turkey and moved to the United States when he was seven. He survived the second-worst earthquake in Turkey’s history and wants to do everything he can to help those suffering after Turkey’s most recent earthquake.

“So I just remembered the whole building shaking we woke up in the middle of the night cause the one that I was in was in the middle of the night I just remember my father he just stood over me and my mother as the whole building was shaking and we had a dresser fall on his back, I just remember us trying to get out of that,” Ofc. Okten said.

Connecticut’s Turkish community gathers to help after earthquake

The Naugatuck Police Department is raising funds to help people affected by the disastrous earthquake.

There has already been a huge amount of support pouring in from the community.

Okten wants the public to know they can drop off donations right at the Naugatuck Police Department.

According to Ofc. Okten, temperatures are cold in turkey currently and donations of blankets, coats and shoes are essential.

Ofc. Okten said more help is needed.

“It’s just something as a community we need to come together we need to do our part and I think that’s what we are doing,” he said.

All the donations will be taken to the Diyanet Mosque of New Haven on Middletown Avenue and from there they will be taken to Turkey. The last day to drop off donations is Feb. 25.