Panthers' Julius Peppers visits Lumberton to tackle Hurricane Florence relief

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Lumberton residents got a special visit from one of their favorite Carolina Panthers players when Julius Peppers came to town Tuesday.

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The defensive end joined volunteers to help in the relief effort for Hurricane Florence.

“I was born and raised about an hour and a half from here,” Peppers told ABC11’s Morgan Norwood, “so it’s personal, and I just wanted to get out here and lend a helping hand in need.”

In September, Peppers announced he would be joining forces with the Foundation for the Carolinas. Together, the Julius Peppers Hurricane Relief Effort was born.

Peppers started his fund with a $100,000 donation, which was matched by Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

“Seeing the trees down and water damage, riding past; seeing all the destruction and devastation, it’s heartbreaking and it makes you want to help out even more,” Peppers said. “That’s why we’re here.”

Peppers was born in Wilson. He played basketball and football at the University of North Carolina from 1998-2001.

He was drafted second overall by the Carolina Panthers in the 2002 NFL Draft and is the Panthers’ all-time sack leader and fourth overall in NFL history.

On Tuesday, Peppers traded his grip gloves for work gloves.

“Yeah, we’re going to be mucking,” Peppers said. “That’s the term for it. I haven’t actually done it before, but I’m a fast learner.”

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