FC Kansas City midfielder Yael Averbuch initially sent a text message, asking if two of her best friends were safe after a house fire had consumed most of their belongings.
Assured they were, Averbuch sent a follow-up question to fellow NWSL players Tiffany Weimer, Tori Huster and Britt Eckerstrom: What can I do to help?
A month later, Averbuch has put together an online auction featuring FC Kansas City items, with the proceeds set to benefit Weimer, Huster and Eckerstrom — who said they lost nearly all of their possessions in the fire last month in Maryland.
FC Kansas City owners have agreed to match the funds raised through the auction, which ends May 15.
The fire occurred at the home of Eckerstrom, a rookie with the Western New York Flash. Huster, who plays with the Washington Spirit, and Weimer, a former NWSL player, had been living there, too.
“I feel like we’re all in this together,” Averbuch said. “I feel like as players in the league, it’s our responsibility to come together and do whatever we can to help support them. I know they would do the same for us.”
Averbuch has previously been teammates with Weimer and Huster during different stops of her career.
The auction will include a variety of items, including a FC Kansas City game-worn jersey from the 2015 NWSL championship match signed by the entire team. FC Kansas City captain Becky Sauerbrunn has signed a U.S. women’s national team jersey and added it to the donation. Averbuch and teammate Heather O’Reilly will host a group of 10 players for a training session.
The items will be listed this week on Equip-Bid, a Kansas City online auction service.
“Speaking with Tiffany and Tori, they lost pretty much everything, including some things that were very meaningful to them that we can’t replace,” Averbuch said. “But we wanted to do something significant enough to help them rebuild aspects of their lives.”