"The Hat Ladies", founded by Nancy Daly in 1997, have visited numerous schools throughout the Madison Metropolitan School District. The Hat Ladies sew over 7,000 fleece hats for causes and those in need each season, with a grand total of nearly 52,000 hats made since the organization began! Each year they sew for six MMSD elementary schools (every child in the school), in addition to every Head Start program in the county, numerous after-school programs, community centers, homeless shelters, free clothing sites, and YWCA residents.
The Hat Ladies are entirely self-funded and purchase nearly all the fleece themselves, with limited donations from outside sources. They also hold a few fundraisers each year where they charge for the hats, then donate 100% of the proceeds to that school/organization. Several MMSD schools have taken their model and use it for their own fundraisers (Nancy would be happy to talk with you about this if you are interested). Nancy coordinates the yearly schedule and nearly 50 Hat Ladies who participate as they can during the season at each program. Nancy has appeared on PBS “Sewing with Nancy (Zieman)” to talk about the Hat Ladies work and continues to have inquiries from all over the country about the work they are doing in Madison.
We are thankful for the contributions the Hat Ladies have made to the students in MMSD over the years! Check out photos from a visit to Mendota Elementary.