The UNC community is rallying around a sophomore member of the UNC junior varsity basketball team whose family home was severely damaged in a fire on New Year’s Day.
Jalon Cooper wrote in a GoFundMe campaign that he started this week that the family had lived in the home in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, for 14 years, adding that it was the home he and his two younger siblings had been in for “as long as we can remember.”
Cooper wrote the family lost clothes, belongings and memories in the blaze just after celebrating Christmas.
Cooper’s parents are “taking this the hardest,” he wrote, adding that his mother has been working two jobs to support the family.
“We just ask for any support at all,” Cooper wrote. “It doesn’t have to be money, but at this point anything helps.”
After starting the GoFundMe, the campaign has raised $7,650 in one day as of Wednesday morning.
Donators shared their thoughts in the comment section of the post, from parents of other students at UNC to North Carolina State fans showing that many things are more important than any rivalry.
Cooper did not indicate there had been any injuries in the fire.
Members of the Carolina basketball and campus community have been spreading the word on social media, asking anyone who can to help the Cooper family. Cooper was profiled by the campus newspaper The Daily Tar Heel in September after starting his own clothing line.
The junior varsity Tar Heel basketball team is coached by Hubert Davis, who serves as an assistant to head coach Roy Williams. Williams himself served as the junior varsity coach during his time as an assistant to Dean Smith in Chapel Hill.
If you would like to support the campaign, you can get more information here.
Photo via Cooper GoFundMe page