Madie Tortomasi: Changing Lives One Pair of Socks at a Time

A college student vs. the world. Most of the time that’s what life feels like trying to balance work, school, relationships, etc. When I hear stories about friends and friends of friends doing more than what the average student does, I feel inspired. Personally, knowing these types of individuals makes the inspiration grow further. My freshman year I went into my dorm knowing 0/3 of my roommates. Walking into a foreign room to live with random roommates was very intimidating. Thankfully, I was hugged immediately and opened with warm arms. Madie Tortomasi, my freshman year roommate, was probably one of the biggest blessings during my freshman year. To see her grow and mature as a person has truly brought happiness to my heart. So, this one’s for you Madie, thank you for not only influencing my life, but thousands of others. 

Tell the people a little bit about yourself.

My name is Madie Tortomasi. I am from Macomb Township, Michigan. Some of my favorite hobbies include photography, traveling, and finding ways to give back any way I can.

What year are you?

I am currently in my Junior year at Central Michigan University.

What is your major/minor?

I am pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Sociology with a Social and Criminal Justice Concentration. I am also minoring in Family Studies and Substance Abuse Prevention, Intervention, and Education. I have recently also added a certification in Cultural and Global Studies to my degree. 

What do you like to do on your free time?

When I do have free time, I enjoy having my friends over and playing board games or watching movies. 

Do you work while at school?

I am not employed at school, but I view school as my “job”. I am taking 18 credits this semester, and I am involved in 3 Registered Student Organizations (being the President of one of them), I also spend about 25-30 hours a semester volunteering for the Office of Study Abroad as a Study Abroad Ambassador. Between school, all my student organizations, and studying, I do not have a lot of free time, so I spend my summers and breaks working at my job at home. 

What is this project and why did you start it?

I am currently involved in a Registered Student Organization on CMU’s campus called Future Child Advocates of CMU. Every year the members of the organization collect and donate new socks to the rotating homeless shelters in Mt. Pleasant.

How do you feel that this project has influenced you?

I feel that the project has influenced me because it has taught me that people in our CMU community do not have basic clothing necessities that we all take for granted. I think giving back to the community is extremely important, and collecting and donating socks is something so simple, but so beneficial to everyone in the Mt. Pleasant area.

How do you feel that this project has helped you?

I think this project has helped me because it has expanded my interpersonal skills by communicating with businesses in my home area. In Macomb Township, The Hub Sports Bistro, a local bar has participated in the sock fundraiser two years in a row to give back to the Mt. Pleasant community. I’ve also been able to connect with other fundraisers such as the Movement That Matters fundraiser that is put on every year through the competitive dance community. Being able to create relationships with businesses and other student organizations on campus has helped my networking skills in the CMU and Macomb Township areas. 

Do you believe that you will continue this for years to come?

Yes, I do think I will continue this for years to come. After I graduate from CMU, I hope to continue donating to homeless shelters even if it is not in the Mt. Pleasant area. There are so many people in need of basic clothing items, especially during the winters, that there is always an opportunity to give back to those that are in need. 

Where do you see this project helping you most when you graduate/ what lessons has it taught you?

I think this project has taught me not to take for granted the simple things. New and nice socks are the most needed clothing items in homeless shelters, and for me I could never imagine going without socks. I think it is so important to give back to the community, and I hope that this project has inspired other people around me to do something so simple, but so helpful during the winter season.