Julius Peppers visited Marlboro County in South Carolina on Tuesday to support ongoing Hurricane Florence recovery efforts.
The visit came after Peppers announced last month that he was teaming up with the Foundation of the Carolinas to create the Julius Peppers Hurricane Relief Fund, beginning with his initial donation of $100,000. He challenged his teammates to contribute to long-term recovery in the Carolinas, and Panthers quarterback Cam Newton matched Peppers' donation.
"Being a native of the Carolinas and seeing the reality of these people affected by the hurricane made me want to do something to help," said Peppers, a North Carolina native who made a similar trip to Robeson County in North Carolina two weeks ago.
The Panthers reached out to the United Way Association of South Carolina (UWASC) to help coordinate Peppers' visit with community partners. UWASC teamed up with AmeriCorps SC and Lowe's, which donated the tools and materials, to organize the day-long event.
"We are so grateful for Julius Peppers' support of Hurricane Florence relief efforts in the Carolinas and are grateful for the partnership with Lowe's in this effort," said Naomi Lett, CEO of UWASC. "This event has given us the opportunity to bring additional resources to a rural community facing another period of long-term recovery just two years after devastating flooding from Hurricane Matthew in 2016."
Hosted locally by United Way of Chesterfield County, which also serves neighboring Marlboro County, Peppers worked alongside volunteers from Lowe's to assist with post-disaster work and meet with homeowners affected by flooding. Peppers also met with Representative Pat Henegan to discuss the local impact of Hurricane Florence.
"We are pleased to host Mr. Peppers' visit to Marlboro County," said Margaret Plettinger-Mitchell, executive director of United Way of Chesterfield County. "A large percentage of families in Chesterfield & Marlboro Counties live with financial uncertainty daily, and an event like Hurricane Florence really tests our resiliency. Rebuilding a devastated community is going to take time, there is no quick fix here. But it will be done through the generosity of people like Mr. Peppers and the strong community we have."
Defensive end Julius Peppers traveled to Bennettsville, SC to visit victims of Hurricane Florence.