The Hat Lady keeps kids warm - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

The Hat Lady keeps kids warm


MADISON (WKOW) -- When we bundle up to head outside, many of us take for granted the hats, mittens and scarves we put on.

But a Madison woman understands that not everyone has the simple comfort of a hat. And she's doing something about it.

Nancy Daly is "Someone You Should Know."

Hi, I'm Nancy Daly and I'm often called the hat lady," says Nancy.

You don't just get that nickname overnight.

Nancy has made more than 12,500 hats since she started keeping track in 1997. Most of the hats are donated for needy children, homeless children, low income children around the Madison area.

"I tell the children you are not likely to see another one like it around the county or around the state," says Nancy.

The Hat Lady recently made her special creations for kids at Tenney Nursery School in Madison.

She has a special connection to the school. She was its first teacher, 30 years ago, starting Tenney with some neighbors in 1979.

Nancy says, "It makes me proud to see all the friendships that have developed and connections parents have made with one another."

The hats are extra special when the children pick out their favorite colors and designs. And even more special for Nancy. As she sews a special bond with the hat's new owner.

"Some children are very curious about how the machine works and what makes it go and how it all fits together and what the parts are," says Nancy.

She's made more than 2,000 hats so far this season. Nancy's hats have even traveled the world, to a village in africa, where it gets very cold in the mountains. In pictures Nancy brought back from a trip, children, yung and young at heart, proudly show off their homemade gift from Wisconsin.

"One more head is warm each time we do it," adds Nancy.

To learn more about Nancy's mission or to help out, email her at

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