Tammi Bale is giving the gift of warmth through socks. Bale lost her son to a heroin overdose in 2016. Every year since then she has made a donation to the Open Door Mission in his memory.
A Holley woman is giving back after tragedy. She made a big donation to a homeless shelter in Rochester to honor her son after he lost a battle to addiction.
Tammi Bale is giving the gift of warmth through socks. Bale lost her son to a heroin overdose in 2016. Every year since then she has made a donation in his memory.
Through her project "Just Socks Ma" she collects new socks from September 1st to January 1st and she delivers them to Open Door Mission in Rochester. Her son, 28 year old Robert Lee Bale II from Brockport stayed at Open Door Mission for a while during his battle with addiction. The last Christmas Bale spent with Robert he asked for socks. Bale collected 300 pairs of socks and handed them over to Open Door Mission in his honor.
"With this epidemic there are a lot of moms wearing the same shoes I am and they need to know that this helps me get out of my grief and focus on helping others and putting a silver lining in a dark gray cloud," Bale said. "I want to keep feet warm this cold winter and keep my son's memory alive at the same time."
Anna Valeria-Iseman, executive director of Open Door Mission, says a donation like this is crucial right now as the better cold sweeps our area.
"It is so heartbreaking to lose a loved one in that way. And to take that grief and turn it into good for others is not only thoughtful, it's brave. We are truly grateful for Tammi's gift, and I can only hope that she may find some comfort in knowing that her gift will be used during a time that simple things like socks are needed so desperately. Not just for our shelter guests, but also for those who are still living on the street, who we encounter during outreach."
Bale plans to continue this tradition as long as she can. She will also start collecting women's and children's socks too. Bale is aiming to raise awareness for the need in the community during the bitter cold winter months and she also wants to inspire other mothers who have lost loved ones to drug overdoses.
If you'd like to help Bale, join her Facebook group, Angel Mothers Unite.