News & Media

UW-River Falls graduate implements innovation to make an impact on homelessness

Photo courtesy of River Falls Journal, Kathy Helgeson 

While many were focused on the outcome of the Super Bowl during the first weekend in February, one UW-River Falls graduate geared his company and focus towards the devastating issue of homelessness. Hippy Feet, founded by Michael Mader, is dedicating to helping the homeless through warming houses and sock sales. At Hippy Feet, for every pair of socks purchased, a pair of socks is donated to a homeless shelter, which is one of the most high in demand clothing items during the winter months. Additionally, Hippy Feet also offers the homeless an opportunity to receive temporary employment and walk out of their shift with money in hand.

In 2016 Mader entered the Innovation Challenge at UW-River Falls and received $27,000 in grants to begin his company. More recently, he utilized the Super Bowl as an opportunity to bring awareness to the issue of homelessness as well as shed light on his company and the benefits it provides for those in need. Mader is now working with Microsoft to expand the company and it's positive impact on homelessness and looks forward to expanding the benefits to different areas around the region. 

Read more about Hippy Feet and their impactful work here.