Houston is more than 8,000 kilometres from Erin McLeod's current Swedish home but the hurricane-battered Texas city is still close to the Canadian international goalkeeper's heart.
McLeod and wife Ella Masar McLeod, both now with FC Rosengard, played in Houston for the Dash and have fond memories of their time there.
Now McLeod, an artist and musician off the soccer pitch, wants to give back. The 34-year-old from St. Albert, Alta., is auctioning off her latest painting called "Houston," a tribute to the city's spirit via its street art, with all proceeds going to hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
"I have been lucky to have travelled the world and Houston is one of the friendliest places I've ever been," McLeod says in her blog. "Rich in culture and diversity — not to mention a great sports town in one of the most soccer crazed states in the U.S.A. — it soon became home.
"The best part about Houston is how accommodating, kind and generous people are, and now it's time to give back some of what was shared with Ella and me. Houstonians continuously opened their homes to us. We had fans donate gift cards to restaurants for Ella and me to try. They just wanted us to enjoy and try some of what Houston has to offer. Nothing can truly destroy Houston as the people are what make that city … but they need help."
McLeod describes the painting as "a collection of Houston street art that I had the pleasure of enjoying while there."
"Some of the words and designs are what an outsider like myself thinks of when thinking about this incredible city — powerful words like 'Give' (one of the most charitable cities in the U.S.A,), 'Hope,' for moments like this, 'Houston Raised Me,' for the pride of coming from Houston, and finally 'Changing,' as the people and city are constantly changing but the friendly culture remains.
She credits such graffiti artists as Dual, Sebastien Boileau, Shepard Fairey, El Nacho, Revok and POSE, as well as those who chose to remain anonymous.
"None of this work is my own. I have simply done my best to replicate what other talented artists have done," she said.
The auction, which has a base price of US$3,000, concludes midnight Pacific time on Sept. 21.
McLeod, who spent two seasons with the Dash, is also donating all profits from sales of her Compass prints to the relief efforts.
McLeod, who has won 115 caps for Canada, is not the only Canadian international to look to help those in need in the Houston area. Forward Janine Beckie, who plays for the Dash along with Canadian teammate Nichelle Prince, has raised more than US$13,500 via the Houston Dash Harvey Relief Fund.
For more information on McLeod's art auction for hurricane Harvey relief, visit
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