‘Just Socks, Ma’ honors memory of man who died from heroin overdose

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 October 2017 at 4:48 pm

Albion woman wants to collect 1,000 pairs of socks to give to homeless

Robert Bale

Robert Bale

ALBION – Robert Bale was a hard-working young man who didn’t want to burden other people, even at Christmas.

When Tammi Bale asked her son what he wanted for a present, he responded: “Just socks, Ma.”

“He never asked for anything,” Tammi Bale said about her son. “He was just a simple guy.”

Robert Bale had a good job as a HVAC technician, often working 50 hours a week. He also had a secret addiction. He used heroin. His family didn’t know it, nor did his roommate or close friends.

On March 10, 2016, he had a fatal overdose at age 28.

Robert Bale, a Brockport native, didn’t show signs of drug use. He didn’t steal or commit other crimes to feed his addiction, his mother said.

His mother wanted to do something positive in his memory last year. She started a sock drive and collected 400 pairs that were donated to the Open Door Mission in Rochester. This year she has a goal of 1,000 pairs of socks for the Open Door Mission, which serves homeless people.

Tammi Bale calls the campaign, “Just Socks, Ma.” She is only accepting new pairs of socks.

She soon will have drop boxes out in the community. For now, people can mail new pairs of socks to her at 341 West State St., Albion NY 14411 or contact her through Facebook.

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