“And as soon as I was able to stabilize myself, which was in the early ’90s, where I was like, ‘OK, I got the rent covered,’ that was ’93. I thought, ‘OK, I’m going to buy a little house.’ Once you have that stability, once you got the mask on, you can put the mask on the child, as they say on the airplane. I was able to say, ‘Now is there anything else that needs attending to?’ I started making a foray into seeing if I could help elsewhere. Up till then I was just trying to help myself and my bandmates, you know, not get kicked out into the street.”
“Touring is a great way to see America, one armpit of a city at a time,” he said. “That’s where they put the punk rock clubs, by the train track or where the runaways and the hobos reside, and you meet a whole other kind of American. You meet the runaway kids, you meet the lifer hobo, you meet the Aryan Nation guy freshly sprung from prison with a swastika on his face. I met these people from a different part of America. It was very informative.
“So, when someone says, ‘Can you help me?’ I believe they need help. I’m one guy. I can’t be everywhere at once, so, you have to pick and choose your help opportunities as best you can. And once you help out one organization, you must be put on some kind of list.”
Because, Rollins says, suddenly the charities start beating down the door. He tries to meet the demand where he can, he says, and sticks to the causes, such as Drop in the Bucket, that he believes in.