Courtesy of [email protected]
Like much of eastern North Carolina, UNC campuses suffered major disruption in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Several campuses closed for more than a week, with students sent home while staff worked around the clock to restore power, repair wind damage, and dry out soaked facilities.
But even as they struggled to reopen classrooms and get the semester back on track, students, faculty, and staff swung into action to help neighbors in need.
At Fayetteville State, the school has partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank to help replenish depleted food pantries and make plans for a sustained food drive through the holidays.
âWe know itâs going to be needed this year more than ever before,â wrote Marsha McLean, FSUâs assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs. âWe frequently ask our community to contribute to the University, so itâs very important we lead by example when the community is in need.â
Fayetteville suffered some of the worst flooding in the region during Matthew, and hundreds of families have been displaced from their homes. Focusing on long-range needs is especially important for those struggling to return home, since rebuilding and resettling can be a lengthy process.
At UNC Pembroke, student and staff volunteers were among those who staffed emergency shelters in the days following the storm, when scores of Robeson County residents were forced to evacuate their homes. The University is now making plans for long-term volunteer help as neighborhoods in the area begin to rebuild.
âWe demonstrated that there is no barrier that separates us from the community,â wrote Cammie Hunt, UNC-Pâs associate vice chancellor for engaged outreach.
Homecoming at East Carolina University became a giant donation drive last weekend, with the American Red Cross stationed at entrances to the football stadium to accept donations for flood relief in Eastern North Carolina. And medical professionals and students from the Brody School of Medicine have been volunteering to help in shelters across Pitt County and the broader region.
For each campus, the response to Hurricane Matthew is seen as part of the core mission of public service in North Carolina. âOur schoolâs motto â Res Non Verba, or âDeeds Not Wordsâ â defines our emphasis on civic and social responsibility,â wrote Marsha McLean of FSU.
Those interested in supporting University efforts can find more information online: