It was anything but normal in the weekly North Carolina Tar Heels press conference. Eschewing football almost entirely, head coach Larry Fedora spoke at length about Hurricane Florence and commended the university on its actions to keep students safe and provide emergency shelter to those in need at the Friday Center.
When the university shut down, Fedora said about half of the football team stayed on campus while the rest went elsewhere. He also said no players went down east and many of the families of players from that area evacuated before the storm.
Fedora announced how the football team will play a part in the Hurricane Florence relief efforts:
We’re willing to do anything that we can to help anybody in the state right now. Our equipment truck will be over in front of the Smith Center this week to load up supplies so we can take those supplies over to the people that have been affected.
Kevin Reddick, a former captain of ours in 2012, reached out [Sunday]. We all know New Bern was hit very hard. Kevin’s from New Bern. We’re going to try to put together as much water and Gatorade— that’s what he’s looking for— because he wants to transport it over to New Bern to get it out to the people that have been affected... Our team is going to have the opportunity to donate money so we can can go out and purchase as much water and Gatorade to get to those people as possible.
As Fedora mentioned, the Carolina equipment truck, along with other tractor trailers in partnership with Marrins’ Moving, will be across from the Smith Center to collect items this week. From UNC:
The University is beginning a drive to collect requested items for affected areas throughout the state of North Carolina. Thanks to UNC Athletics and Marrins’ Moving, several tractor trailers will be provided to deliver supplies. Beginning Tuesday (Sept. 18) the University will be accepting donations of specific items at the Williamson Center parking lot, located directly across the street from the Dean E. Smith Center. These items will be loaded onto the Carolina Football equipment truck and delivered to the hardest-hit locations throughout the state.
The items people should donate include:
Non-perishable food items
Pop-top canned goods
Diapers (baby and adult)
Cleaning supplies (brooms, cotton mops, pails/buckets, sponges, scrub brushes, garbage bags, rubber gloves)
Personal hygiene items (toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, gel soap, bar soap, shampoo, deodorant, band aids)
People may bring items to the Williamson Center parking lot at these dates and times:
Tuesday, September 18: 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, September 19: 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, September 20: 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Friday, September 21: 7:30 a.m. to Noon
Reddick, mentioned by Fedora in his press conference, is a Carolina letterman and former NFL player. In 2012, he was named to the All-ACC First Team and his performance that season ranks him 10th all-time at UNC with 18.5 tackles for loss in a single season. He is, as Fedora said, working with the football team and university to get supplies to his native New Bern.
Check out some photos from the relief efforts so far:
Thanks to those that have already filled the truck!! Open till 6 pm today and again tomorrow at 7:30 am. pic.twitter.com/QhdECY8Jxq— Carolina Football (@TarHeelFootball) September 18, 2018
As of publication, there is no official word if items will be collected at the football game Saturday. My guess is that there will be some type of collection, so if you’re going, why not bring along a few useful items?
If you are unable to make it to Chapel Hill or another location to drop off items, here are a few other ways you can help: