CLEVELAND - The much-needed relief David Robertson has delivered this week hasn’t been restricted to the mound.
A day after he recorded his second save of the season, the White Sox closer said Wednesday morning that his foundation, High Socks For Hope, is on the ground in the communities surrounding Rockford, Ill., that were ravaged by last week’s tornadoes. Robertson said representatives of the foundation, which he and his wife, Erin, began in 2011, have served more than 200 hot meals to members of those communities.
After joining the White Sox this offseason, the Tuscaloosa, Ala. native hopes to establish ties in Chicago and provide further assistance to those areas in the near future.
“I’ve seen what (tornadoes) can do,” Robertson said. “It’s amazing how much damage a tornado can create, especially when they got big like that (Alabama). It seemed like Illinois got hit pretty hard. We’ll continue to try to help out any way possible.
“We’re going to continue to try and raise money and figure out how best to help the community.”
The Robertsons started their foundation in 2011 after Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, Ala. were hard hit by an F-4 tornado that left 64 dead. Since 2011, Robertson has pledged $100 for every strikeout and $200 for each save, raising more than $13,000 to date, including $1,200 this season.
Robertson hopes to engage the local community and find corporate sponsorship for his non-profit once his family is settled in Chicago. In the past, Robertson has been able to help residents of Staten Island, N.Y., who were affected by Superstorm Sandy, as well as tornado victims in Norman, Okla. and in Texas.
One save away from 50 in his career, Robertson said he hopes to further help those affected in Rochelle, Ill. and Fairdale, Ill. after things have settled down and the debris has been cleared. Robertson said one area in particular his foundation has helped is furnishing homes and apartments, in particular providing mattresses.
“When you lose everything, going to get a new mattress can cost you, there’s no telling,” Robertson said.
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Though he didn’t know anyone killed in Tuscaloosa, Robertson felt the impact. People’s houses, restaurants he’d dined at, were flattened by the storm. Robertson’s work in Alabama continued this offseason as the foundation helped to furnish 50 newly built apartments for local veterans.
“Lot of places I grew up going over to are just gone,” Robertson said. “We’ve got to get back on the fundraising trail again. If we can get that going again we can really help some families.”