The UNC athletics department announced the creation of a new student-athlete support initiative, the Helping Heels Fund, in a press release Wednesday. The fund will be a crowdfunding effort that allows UNC sports fans to donate money and help student-athletes and their families who are struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fund is a joint effort between UNC Athletics and the Rams Club, and will work in tandem with the already existing Student-Athlete Assistance Fund to help over 800 student-athletes and their families pay for critical expenses such as medical bills, groceries, technology for online learning and more.
With the cancellation of spring sports, many UNC athletes were sent home before their seasons came to an end.
“Many of our Tar Heels and their families, like so many more across our state, nation and world, are facing challenges because of this terrible pandemic,” UNC Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham said in the press release. “This fund is an opportunity to offer resources beyond what our department is currently able to provide.”
The fund is one of multiple efforts by both UNC and the NCAA to provide support to student-athletes struggling with the effects of COVID-19.