MINNEAPOLIS — This season, for every home run Rays infielder Brandon Lowe hits, he and his wife, Madison, will donate $100 to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. The Rays Baseball Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization and the official charity of the Rays, will also contribute $100 per home run in support of Lowe’s “Home Runs for Hope” campaign.
“Mental health is something that has impacted me and my family, so we are passionate about helping in any way we can,” said Lowe. “We want to bring more awareness to mental health and help those who are in need of support.”
While Lowe doesn’t need extra motivation to hit home runs, they will feel a little more special now.
“It has a little extra meaning when you’re rounding the bases,” Lowe said before Thursday’s matinee against the Twins. “It definitely makes it feel a little bit better.”
Lowe, 24, ranks first among American League rookies with 15 home runs and second among AL second baseman. He never imagined he’d be hitting so many home runs in baseball that it’d become a charitable endeavor.
“If you would have told me this while I was in college I would have looked at you like … ‘it’s not going to be a significant amount.’ Hopefully I go on a power surge here and have no problem hitting 35 home runs.”
To date, Lowe’s 15 home runs have contributed $3,000 to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.
“There is major stigma in our society when it comes to mental health,” said President and CEO of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay Clara Reynolds. “People don’t want to talk about topics like suicide, trauma and addiction. That is why we are so grateful to Brandon and Madison and the Rays Baseball Foundation for their leadership in launching the Home Runs for Hope campaign. We thank them for raising awareness about mental health.”
If you live in the Tampa Bay area, you can connect to help by dialing 2-1-1, or by calling 1-800-273-TALK.
The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay provides a range of programs and services to ensure that no one in the community has to face a crisis alone. It is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year as the community gateway to help. People who are struggling with a variety of crisis situations including sexual assault or abuse, domestic violence, financial distress, substance abuse, medical emergency, suicidal thoughts and other emotional or situational problems can connect to hope and healing.
Lowe hopes the campaign will help with the stigma that follows mental health around, and would like to see people view the illness in earnest.
“I think it’s one of the things that people won’t really realize is actually a serious issue,” said Lowe. “Some people will see mental health and think ‘you can get over that’ or think it’s not a physical illness. It’s something that needs to be taken seriously and people will feel more comfortable coming out and getting help.”
To donate or for additional information, visit crisiscenter.com.