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Retired nurse gives back during pandemic by baking cookies for hospital workers

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Posted at 7:44 AM, May 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-27 08:47:28-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — For the better part of two decades, you've been able to find Julie Sorensen inside of Tristar Centennial Women's and Children's Hospital.

"It's been almost 15 years, so a long time," Sorensen said.

She started there as a nurse, and after retiring three years ago, returned as a volunteer.

"I've always loved babies, that's why I became a mother-baby nurse right out of college," she said. "There are so many babies that when the nurses are so busy, they don't have time just to sit down with a baby who is fussy or whatever. I'm just a person with an extra set of hands that can sit and rock a baby and settle a baby."

Sorensen would rock babies every week until COVID-19 closed the hospitals to visitors and volunteers.

"It was hard. I mean it was just hard to find a different focus for me, personally I needed something to do," She said.

That's when Sorensen turned to her kitchen.

"I made cookies one night and brought them up here and one of the nurses came down since I wasn't allowed in, and they would come to my car and I would give them a batch of cookies to eat," she explained. "It was just something to help a bad situation, to have a little bit of hope, a little bit of something special."

That something special continued weekly for more than a year.

"It just kept going! I thought it would be a month or two and 14 months later I was still bringing cookies!" she said with a laugh.

But the sugary tradition ended last week, when, after countless batches of cookies, Sorensen was able to return to the hospital. On Friday she volunteered in person for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

"It was very exciting and fun to be back," she said. "It's just special get back, I missed babies so getting back and getting able to hold a baby was very special."