At least 26 people have died because of the storm, according to the Associated Press, and flooding has caused about $1.5 billion in damages to more than 100,000 homes, businesses and government buildings.
Schools are also being affected, and the N.C. High School Athletic Association wants to help with relief efforts. NCHSAA commissioner Que Tucker and the NCHSAA Board of Directors has named Friday as “Hurricane Matthew Relief Assistance Night” at all NCHSAA football contests.
The association is asking member schools to collect money towards hurricane relief at Friday’s games and to forward to the NCHSAA. All money will be sent to local education agencies in counties designated as disaster areas and were federally approved for individual assistance.
The NCHSAA board will match funds up to $20,000 that local schools collect. An additional relief night has been scheduled during basketball games on Friday, Dec. 16. The board will match funds raised up to $20,000 on Dec. 16th as well.
“With so much devastation across eastern North Carolina, we began thinking about what might be possible to directly help our schools that have been affected," Tucker said. "We remembered Hurricane Floyd and that we collected money at Regional Meetings, with the NCHSAA supplying a match in that case as well. Once again, we want to get our school communities involved to help our member schools and systems recover from this wide-spread disaster."
Schools who wish to participate are asked to email the NCHSAA’s James Alverson at firstname.lastname@example.org with details of the game, kickoff and opponent along with any special details about how a school plans to participate. Information sent will be posted to the NCHSAA website detailing the effort.
"Great things are possible when we all work together," Tucker said. "This is a service opportunity for our membership and we must rally around those who have been devastated by this historic flooding in eastern North Carolina."