WILLIAMSBURG — Baki Oncu’s restaurant, Olde Town Pizza & Pasta, has been a staple in Williamsburg since 2007, but his roots are in Turkey.
After the devastating earthquake that hit Oncu’s home country on Feb. 6, the people of Northern Turkey have been his main concern. Oncu said several employees have had friends and family that have been directly affected.
Wanting to do something for those in his home country, Oncu began asking for donations that will be shipped to Turkey the first week of March.
“We are collecting items for everyone but, want to focus on kids. Turkey is a country with big families and many children,” said Oncu, “The need is for new or gently used clothing, coats or shoes for children of all ages. They also need diapers and wipes. Other items people can donate are blankets, towels or toys.”
Due to U.S. Customs and Border Protection laws, Oncu said they discourage perishables and food.
“Over the last few days, we have received a lot of stuff,” said Oncu, “and I love it. I love what I do and I love to help people.”
Oncu said small to medium sized boxes to pack items are also needed.
To make donation drop off easy, currently, nine other Williamsburg establishments have become collection points. Donations are being accepted at: Olde Towne Pizza & Pasta, Sal’s by Victor, Fat Tuna Grill & Oyster House, Rocco’s Smokehouse Grill, New York Deli & Pizza Restaurant, Paul’s Deli & Neighborhood Restaurant, Astronomical Pancake House, Antonio’s Ristorante Italiano and Retro’s Good Eats.
More information can be found on the Olde Towne Pizza & Pasta Facebook page.