A Call to Arms For Hurricane Florence Relief

By: Tim Thomas | @TimThomasTLP | Sep 19, 2018


Those four words aren't used often but when they are, it's usually a rallying cry for unity in a time of need. It's the cry of a spread out group of people to band together, lean on one another, and help our brothers and sisters who need help. Four words that symbolize so much, that remind us of a need in times of trouble and pain to rely on one another, to have a brother or sister step up and provide an arm to lean on. That's what A CALL TO ARMS ought to be. This is one of those times. Over the past week, Hurricane Florence was one of the most destructive storms to ever hit the Carolinas. The rain and winds may be gone, but river flooding will plague the eastern Carolinas for the next week or two, continuing to cause devastating impacts by destroying homes, ruining roads, and making many areas that need basic necessities difficult to access or simply inaccessible. In the long term, this storm will go down as one of the worst to hit the Carolinas with impacts that will lead to a long road to recovery for places like Wilmington and New Bern. For some places, that recovery will be measured in years, not months. The need for help and support in the eastern Carolinas is as great as it has ever been from a natural disaster. Now is the time for A CALL TO ARMS to help our brothers and sisters, our friends and neighbors, our fellow Americans in the eastern Carolinas in whatever ways we can. We know that many of you would love to help and support the relief efforts while ensuring that all resources are used in full towards the work that needs to be done in the short and long term in the eastern Carolinas: to the families who lost their homes, to the many who may have suffered mental trauma unimaginable, to the local first responders and health care workers doing their jobs in this time of need over worrying about their own possessions knowing that they could lose so much, to provide food and other basic necessities to people in need beyond anything that we have either been through or could ever imagine. We know that it can be hard to find the right organization, but we have found some worthy organizations who need our help to do the necessary relief work in these communities. So here's how you, ACC fans from Chestnut Hill to Tallahassee, can help the relief efforts in the eastern Carolinas. First, if you live in or near Raleigh and have food you want to donate, the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC will be collecting food for the affected areas on Thursday at the following locations in the Raleigh area:
  • Carter-Finley Stadium (Inside Gate A)
  • 1924 Capital Blvd. Raleigh, NC (Food Bank Distribution Facility)
These collections will be happening this Thursday (tomorrow, 9/20) from 6am to 7pm at those locations. We encourage all ACC fans and residents who have any canned goods or other useful supplies for the Food Bank to stop by and give back whether that's before or after work or any time in between. Second, if you plan on attending the Duke-Virginia Tech or Duke-NC Central games at Wallace Wade Stadium, you can support relief efforts through Duke football's partnership with relief efforts in the eastern Carolinas through donating food or other basic necessities at the stadium. https://twitter.com/TheBenSwain/status/1041789575755128833 We know that many of you do not live within a reasonable driving distance of Raleigh or won't be attending the Duke games against Virginia Tech and NC Central, but we also have other ways that you can provide financial support that will only go towards relief efforts. In this CALL TO ARMS, we are encouraging you to donate to the North Carolina Hospital Associations' (NCHA) Disaster Relief Fund. Our goal is to raise at least $300,000 for the NCHA Disaster Relief Fund before the 7pm kickoff between Virginia Tech and Duke on September 29th in Durham, NC.


Here's a look at where your money will be going as the NCHA has told us. "The North Carolina Hospital Foundation Disaster Relief Fund aims to foster and accelerate the collective impact of hospitals, health systems, and care providers to help restore the health of communities affected by natural disasters. We are thankful for the courage of the many healthcare workers that put aside their own concerns to meet the needs of their communities. "We recognize the personal toll this storm took on so many of our partners across central and eastern North Carolina. Member hospitals and health systems are rallying around their employees and colleagues, but the needs are great. Your generosity will support North Carolina’s healthcare workers and their communities as they rebuild. 100% of your donation will directly help those in need." Here's more from their main donation page: "All funds raised through this effort will go to support North Carolina’s healthcare workforce and their communities as they rebuild from Hurricane Florence. 100% of your donations go directly to those in need. Your gift will allow the North Carolina Hospital Foundation to foster and accelerate the collective impact of hospitals, health systems, and care providers to help restore the health of communities affected by Hurricane Florence and the subsequent flooding. "Throughout the storm and its aftermath, we have been reminded of the resilience of North Carolina’s dedicated healthcare workers, many of whom continued to care for their neighbors, despite the uncertainties awaiting them at home. Member hospitals and health systems are rallying around their employees and colleagues, but the needs are great." Every single dollar raised by this fund will go to short and long term relief efforts with none of your donations going towards overhead costs. One of the biggest objectives of this relief effort will be towards helping rebuild the homes of health care workers who stayed behind during the storm and did their jobs. These health care workers who could have easily (and understanably) evacuated or been focused on protecting their homes were more focused on the needs of others even when their own needs were great and have only grown significantly. This fund will go directly towards helping those health care workers rebuild their lives after this devastation. This fund will also have a long term focus as well in helping identify and assisting with the long term needs that come from the damage that Hurricane Florence has left. Part of that will involve medication assistance along with providing mental health resources for those who have suffered great trauma from this storm. Surviving a major hurricane is a traumatic experience that can cause mental heath problems like PTSD for many survivors especially in the immediate weeks and months to follow along with causing long-term mental health problems for some as happened with Katrina and other awful hurricanes. In addition, resources will also be given towards the infrastructure rebuilding and economic recovery efforts. Infrastructure is critical to ensuring the economic recovery of this region and this hurricane has had some devastating effects including the damaging and even destruction of several main access roads to Wilmington and the coastal Carolina region as shown below. As we said above, our goal is to raise at least $300,000 by the 7pm kickoff for the ACC game between Virginia Tech and Duke in Durham. We know that it will take a lot, but we also believe that $300,000 is a more than reasonable goal. Why? Think about this: the combined seating capacities of the 6 ACC schools that either have to cancel their game, move their kickoff time up, or move the location of their game; is 348,683 people. That means that at least 300,000 people likely had tickets for these six games and to do some simple math, if all 300,000 of those ticket holders gave simply $1 to the relief effort, we would already be at our goal, and that's only with those who had tickets. In addition, many of you who were planning on attending a football game, but didn't due to the storm, likely didn't spend nearly as much as you were planning on last weekend. If you do now have extra money that you were planning on spending at one of last week's affected games, this would be a great place to give that money away if you're unsure of what to do with it. It may not take much but maybe instead of buying an overpriced hot dog at one of the ACC's stadiums, get a few hot dogs to grill before the game and give the savings from those hot dogs to the relief efforts. Right there, that would be a few dollars and more than even the minimum to reach our goal if all 300,000+ ticket holders to last week's 6 Carolinas and Virginia games gave. For me personally, I am personally pledging a $100 donation towards the relief efforts and hope that if you're in good financial condition, that you would consider making a sizable, responsible donation towards these efforts. The need is also great and we encourage you to be unafraid to responsibly give as much as you would like to give to support these efforts. If you go through one of the donation links and intend to give a donation of $1,000 or more, we ask that you please contact Jai Kumar at this email (jKumar@ncha.org) so that he can help you donate without having to pay fees alongside your sizable donation. In addition, all donations that you make to the NCHA Disaster Relief Fund are 100% tax-deductible. As we said earlier, all 100% of your donation will go directly to those affected and to no one other than those affected. These people need our help and we know that many ACC fans or graduates likely know someone in the Wilmington, New Bern, or eastern Carolina region as a whole. We know you want to help the recovery efforts and we hope that we can offer you an opportunity to do so through the NCHA Disaster Relief Fund, the Food Bank of Eastern and Central NC, Marrin's Moving, or another organization with a great reputation. You will likely see this effort shared on social media and message boards throughout ACC country or on your sports radio stations and there are so many people who have joined together in this effort and deserve credit. First, to Jai Kumar and the NC Hospital Foundation and their incredible work that is making a difference in communities throughout the eastern Carolinas. These people are focused on making sure the lives of those who made the selfless sacrifice to serve their communities even when they risked losing everything. Second, to Ben Swain of Sports Channel 8 for connecting us with Jai and being the critical connection that is helping make all this happen. Without Ben's knowledge of the work in the area and his connection to Jai, and without Jai telling us about some of the needs of the community and the relief efforts that are going on, this wouldn't be happening right now. Third, to all of our other promoters who have joined us in promoting this on social media and other platforms, a list of peoplethat will only grow as those who I personally don't know join us in this effort from across the ACC. Many thanks go to Sports Channel 8, Paul VanWagoner and ESPN Blacksburg, Tech Sideline, Gobbler Country, Streaking The Lawn, Josh Parcell and WFNZ, VT Scoop, and others who join us in helping publicize these efforts as we begin our push to raise at least $300,000 for the NCHA Disaster Relief Fund. If you want to join us in helping to publicize the efforts, we would ask that you would also use the #ACCFansForFlorenceRelief on social media as we look to rally ACC fans from across the East Coast and the country to come together and support the relief efforts happening in the Carolinas. The time has come for A CALL TO ARMS to help those in the hardest hit areas by one of the worst storms to ever hit the Carolinas. We ask that you would please consider joining us in donating to the work on the ground whether it's through the NCHA Disaster Relief Fund or through other reputable efforts that are making a difference in the short and long term recovery in the region. We know that you may not be able to give much, but we do know that anything you do give will make a difference. So to all of you, thank you for the support that I know you will provide and thank you for answering our CALL TO ARMS.