ELK GROVE, Ill. — A northwest suburban woman who bakes thousands of cookies every Christmas for her friends and neighbors is now baking for people she’s never met.
Kathy Lee, Elk Grove’s “Cookie Queen,” says she’s barely left her kitchen in weeks because of the pandemic.
“It’s a feel good moment to make other people happy and that’s what I like to do,” she said.
For years now, Lee has been baking it forward, one batch after another. Every year she gifts hundreds of thousands of cookies to all of her closest friends.
By spring, her apron would finally go back on the wall, but it never made its way back to the hook this year.
“Just seeing on tv all the nurses and doctors I thought, I should make some cookies for them,” said Lee.
So while the nation rushed out to get toilet paper, Lee stocked up on flour, sugar and eggs.
She estimates she’s made about 200 banana breads and 800 cookies for hospital workers so far.
“They’re working so many hours and it’s so horrible for them right now.”
But the generosity hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“There are definitely days when you come home and just kind of have little break down,” said ICU nurse Auyumi Kunihiro. “Having people like Kathy Lee make cookies and banana bread and making you feel like you’re a valued member of the community and that helps us in a really big way to support the community back.”
Lee knows she can’t change hardship, but says a little butter and sugar never hurts.
“I thought a little homemade love would be good.”