Meet the Mrs. Fields of Delaware Hospice: Her name is Dot Swain, and she knows the power of a warm, freshly-baked cookie.
For the upcoming National Volunteer Week (April 12-18), Delaware Hospice has chosen to honor Swain out of its 600-plus volunteers.
She first came to the Delaware Hospice Center in Milford two years ago to substitute cookie-baking duty for a friend. Since then, she has become “The Cookie Lady,” and bakes and personally delivers five-dozen cookies for residents every week.
Swain, whose family benefited from Hospice several years ago, said baking cookies is the least she can do. “My little job of baking each week means so much to the patients, as many of them have not had a warm homemade cookie in months,” she said.
The Cookie Lady has five specialties she rotates through, depending on what ingredients she has handy: oatmeal butterscotch, sugar, peanut butter, chocolate and chocolate chip. She’s modified her recipes so that they’re diabetic-friendly.
Swain bakes the treats right on the Delaware Hospice premises, so she can deliver cookies right out of the oven. Serving them warm is key: Swain bakes one sheet at a time and serves them fresh while another tray bakes in the oven. She also always serves two cookies apiece. “Everything is better in pairs,” she said.
Debbie Taylor, the clinical supervisor of inpatient services, said Swain’s baking guarantees many smiles. “Our halls are filled with the most amazing smells each week because of (her) love and dedication,” Taylor said.
In addition to baking and serving cookies at Delaware Hospice, Swain has taught Adult Basic Education at Polytech Adult Education. She lives in Milton and enjoys Bible Study, crafting, and above all, Skyping with her two grandchildren in North Carolina.