Nancy Schroeder worked at a local college in the bookstore for many years. Once she retired, Schroeder devoted the majority of her time to service in her community. She single-handedly coordinated the Winter Wraps Program.
Schroeder was used to the cold Midwest winters; however, she saw that many adults and children were out in the elements without the proper protection. In May of 200, Schroeder organized a community-wide coat drive. The local public schools were checkpoints for the drive initially. Community members were dropping off children’s coats and the schools, and soon the area dry-cleaners opened their arms to the program. The dry-cleaners volunteered to clean the used coats, and Schroeder, along with other youth and senior volunteers sorted and sized them.
The Winter Wraps Program debuted in October of 2000. Over 1000 used, cleaned winter coats as well as hats and mittens for the children were given to those in need in Kenosha County. Additionally, 182 adults were provided with warm coats. Though the program is still in its infancy stage, Schroeder believes it is a success. The three-day October “coat-fest” brought the community together. Hundreds of volunteers worked with hundreds of families and were able to meet one of their needs.
Schroeder devotes hundreds of hours to Winter Wraps, but she gives her time to other organizations also. She volunteers for WoMen and Children’s Horizons. This agency provides advocacy, support and emergency shelter for victims and child witnesses of domestic abuse. Schroeder provides outreach and education about domestic abuse at the local homeless shelter, and she assists with children’s groups. You may also find Schroeder working during the week at her church providing homeless individuals with a night’s relief through their INNS Program. In addition to that, she works with the Hospice Alliance providing comfort to patients with terminal illnesses as well as their loved ones.