HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans will donate the proceeds from their first game-day auction to support three children who were orphaned and seriously injured in a car accident last month.
The Texans play the New York Jets on Aug. 15. The team's foundation operates an auction during each home game, and the money raised will be earmarked to help 9-year-old Peter, 8-year-old Aaron and 6-year-old Willa Berry.
The children's parents, Joshua and Robin, were killed in a collision last month as the family was returning home from a vacation in Colorado. Aaron and Peter are permanently paralyzed; Willa was left with several broken bones.
The tragedy has drawn national attention. Pop star Justin Bieber helped launch a website telling people how to donate to the Berrys.
The children's maternal grandfather, the late Phil Perlo, was a member of the 1960 AFL champion Houston Oilers. Several Texans, including quarterback Matt Schaub, tight end Owen Daniels, linebacker DeMeco Ryans, safety Glover Quin, right tackle Eric Winston and defensive end J.J. Watt visited the Berry children at the Houston hospital where they were treated.
"Houston is an incredibly diverse city, but we're all Texans and Texans rally to support one another in times of need," team president Jamey Rootes said. "This story particularly touched our hearts as members of the Houston football family, and once we learned about this, we immediately began working to find the right way to help Peter, Aaron and Willa."
Items available at the auction include a jersey autographed by Schaub, a framed picture signed by 2010 rushing champion Arian Foster and a helmet signed by free agent acquisitions Johnathan Joseph and Danieal Manning.
Fans will also be able to help by texting "BERRY" to 85944 to make a $10 donation to a foundation set up for the family. More information about the family's trust fund is available at www.theberrychildren.org