Featured Volunteer Nancy Miller
Please meet our dynamo Iowa Volunteer in the Spotlight—Nancy Miller. Nancy is a one woman powerhouse who moves at warp speed. A knitter since college, she is a devoted member of TPP and we are so lucky to have her and her enthusiasm in our midst.
Nancy and her husband live in Manchester, Iowa having come back home after 45 years away. Drawn back to the town she grew up in, she cares for her mother (who is 98, blind and lives alone) and is the designated drive for the “Plus Ninety Club” which includes her mother and Mom’s friends. For fun she teaches painting classes. The Millers have a winter home in Queen Creek, Arizona as well.
Blessed with a terrific family, Nancy has a son in Sioux City, Iowa, another son in Chandler, Arizona, a daughter in Portland, Oregon and ten terrific grandchildren (nine grandsons and one “completely unspoiled” granddaughter). This is a delightful blended family with five natural grandchildren, two permanent foster kids and three adopted children. In Nancy’s words, “They come in all colors and sizes and ages and we love each one.“
Nancy’s charitable involvement was born years ago after she lost a younger brother in Viet Nam, lost a third son shortly after birth and had a grandson in NICU at UIHC sixteen years ago for three weeks with a lung infection at birth. In those times and for those events, families sat in crowded waiting rooms and talked or cried. She remembers the incredible sadness of losing a baby…and a brother in a long ago war…and not talking about these events with anyone. She came out of this “black hole” of her life with a passion to help others in similar situations to feel better. Her uterine cancer diagnosis and subsequent surgery in 2006 gave her that gentle push to volunteer for an organization involved with babies and TPP is the richer for her involvement.
Nancy has spent most of her life knitting and is an absolute whirlwind. She loves to make crazy and wild hats with fun trimmings and never makes two that are alike. Some of her delightfully crazy hats are fashioned from different flannels and feature booties to match. She knits at ballgames, in the car and in the evenings. Last Summer, she created eighteen hats while sitting at softball and baseball games and didn’t miss a pitch. In one week in November, she knitted three hats at the high school football playoffs, saw every play and even managed to eat some popcorn. Now that’s talent!! She hasn’t yet brought her knitting to church but she’s contemplating it.
Creating memories for babies who die (or who might die) was very hard at first, but Nancy can now do so without feeling badly. Having been a lifelong volunteer, she always gets back more than she gives. Helping other people is her mission in life. If you see a flash of speed, love and energy burst through the door, you can bet it’s Nancy. What an inspiration!!
December 22, 2014
Iowa Neonatal Intensive Care Units