Did you know socks are the most frequently requested donation item by homeless shelters and outreach programs, but often times the least donated?
With Hippy Feet, you can help change that. With every pair of Hippy Feet socks purchased, another is donated to a local homeless shelter.
“We are more than just an organization that sells cool socks,” founder Michael Mader said. “We hope people recognize our passion to give back to those in need.”
Their goal is to not only provide socks for the less fortunate, but to also create opportunities for the homeless community and have a lasting impact on the lives of those in need. Combined with their “buy one, give one” mentality, they are also working to fund an employment program through Hippy Feet. This program will help employ members of the in-transition homeless community in our area. These individuals will help package socks, work table events and perform other tasks for Hippy Feet to help prepare them with the experience necessary for when they enter the work force.
“We want people to join us on our mission to give back, one foot at a time,” he said.
In addition to socks, Hippy Feet will also be selling natural cotton t-shirts featuring their Hippy Feet logo. All proceeds from the t-shirts will go to funding their employment program.
Holidazzle’s full calendar run is Thursdays through Sundays from Friday, November 24 through Saturday, December 23. It is open Thursdays from 5-9 pm, Fridays from 5-10 pm, Saturdays from 11 am-10 pm and Sundays from 11 am-7 pm.
Hippy Feet officially launched in September 2016 and was a big hit with Holidazzle shoppers last winter. Although Michael has been wearing “funky” socks for as long as he remembers, the idea for Hippy Feet wasn’t formed until Michael experienced a traumatic brain injury after falling off of his longboard. At the time he was attending the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and the accident left him unable to work or attend class for the remainder of the semester.
“This ultimately left me in a strange place in my own life, filled with uncertainty and self-doubt,” Michael said.
While in recovery, Michael stumbled upon the above fact, put out by The Salvation Army, that homeless shelters need sock donations more than anything.
“I found this quote while in recovery from my head injury. It motivated me to overcome the adversity I faced as the result of my recent fall,” Michael said.
It was at this moment that Michael realized his opportunity to combine two of his passions: His love for fashionable and “funky” socks, and his underlying desire to give back to those less fortunate.
With the support from his professors and mentors, he was able to enter Hippy Feet into a number of business model competitions and ended up winning the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament.
With a little compassion and perspective, like Michael, you too can help shift how the homeless community in our area experiences daily life. And what better way to do that then during the holidays.
Come to Holidazzle and help give back in whichever way you can.