Milwaukee Center for Independence: Assisting individuals with special needs

Volunteer Nancy Maier


Meet Nancy MaierNancy Maier delivers her handmade scarves to the Crisis Resource Center.

Nancy Maier is working on a marathon, but she’s not training at the gym.

Instead, her goal is to crochet one mile’s worth of scarves for people who are experiencing symptoms of a mental illness, and who are in recovery at the Crisis Resource Center.

The Crisis Resource Center (CRC), operated by Whole Health Clinical Group, is often the first step to recovery for individuals who are experiencing a psychiatric crisis. During a short-term stay at the center, clients are provided with comprehensive support and connected to the resources they need to manage their stressors and improve their lives.

Nancy said she has been crafting for most of her life. She was looking for a way to use her talents to help others when her daughter, Julie, suggested that she create a few scarves for Crisis Resource Center clients. Julie heads up the Winged Victory program, which assists clients in applying for insurance and other benefits.

When she first started making the scarves in September, 2010, Nancy said the task seemed a bit daunting. But to date, she has crocheted about 780 scarves in a virtual rainbow of colors and donated them to the CRC. Now she produces an average of one 6-foot-by-9-inch scarf per day.

I’ve got about 100 more to go,” Nancy said, before reaching that one-mile mark.

Dan Baker, director of the Crisis Resource Center, said that people reaching out to the CRC really appreciate the comfort of a warm, colorful scarf when they come to the CRC. Nancy’s talent has had a significant positive impact on the lives of so many people in our community.

Nancy said she knows that her handmade scarves have brightened the spirits of many Crisis Resource Center clients. 

“I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think it was doing some good,” she said.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently published a profile on Nancy. To read the story by Meg Kissinger, click here.


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