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Canadian international striker Janine Beckie doing her bit for hurricane relief


Like many Houston residents, Canadian international striker Janine Beckie is crossing her fingers as she watches the destruction of hurricane Harvey from a distance.

Beckie is one of the lucky ones, however. Her apartment is on the third floor and escaped damage other than flooding in the parking garage.

Safe with her Houston Dash teammates in the Dallas area, Beckie is doing her bit to help those less fortunate with a fundraising campaign named the Houston Dash Harvey Relief Fund.

"As athletes we have an opportunity to mobilize our resources, contacts, family, and friends to come together and model the most basic obligation we have as human beings: to take care of one another," Beckie writes on the fund's home page.

"These are our people, this is our city, this is our home."

Thanks in part to a US$3,000 donation from Houston Dynamo veteran DaMarcus Beasley, the fund had reached $9,465 as of Friday afternoon.

"Obviously he cares a lot about Houston, it's been his home for a while," said Beckie. "I can't thank him enough for that really generous donation."

The goal was $12,000 but Beckie is happy to keep the scoreboard ticking over if people continue to donate.

Beckie joins Houston Texans star J.J. Watt and others in mobilizing forces to assist those in need. Every bit helps.

Fearing the worst, Beckie and three of her teammates left Houston on Aug. 25 for Dallas where one of the Dash players had family.

"That's one of the biggest reasons why I started the fund, because it was making me feel horrible that I was sitting back and seeing all of this happen and not being able to do anything about it," she said Friday in an interview.

The Dash's Aug. 27 home game against the North Carolina Challenge was postponed by the storm. Sunday's scheduled home game against Seattle Reign FC has been shifted to Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, with all proceeds going to the American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

Born in Colorado to parents from Saskatchewan, Beckie calls Texas home now after spending close to seven years there including her college days at Texas Tech. She has spent the last two years in Houston with her NWSL team which is also home to fellow Canadian Nichelle Prince.

"It has a really special place in my heart and I've met some really great people," said Beckie. "So I hope that what I'm doing is able to able to affect a lot of families and a lot of people that have lost almost everything in this hurricane."

Beckie isn't sure what the future lies in terms of the Dash's soccer schedule. With much of the city flooded, BBVA Compass Stadium was filled to capacity with relief donations.

"There's a lot of stuff up in the air," Beckie said. "We're just hoping and waiting, taking it one day at a time."

The Dish equipment manager lost his apartment.

"We're really sad for him and hoping to help him get him back on his feet when we get back," said Beckie.

The players seemed to have escaped damage but haven't been home for several days and wonder what awaits them when they return home.   

"We've been lucky," she said. "But there's been a lot of people that haven't. So I think it's our responsibility to help out."

Beckie is the most recent member of the Canadian team to pitch in for a good cause. Earlier Friday, it was announced that the A&W's "Burgers to Beat MS campaign" spearheaded by captain Christine Sinclair had raised a record C$1.85 million this year.

"We sort of pride ourselves on being good Canadians," national team coach John Herdman said of his squad. "We look at what we do as more than just football. These women have got influence and it's important that they use it for things other than football.

"I think Janine's a great example, and Christine, of players who are just stepping out of the realms of kicking a ball around a field. It's exciting to see the sort of leadership qualities that these women are developing."


For more information on the Houston Dash Harvey Relief Fund, visit


Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

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