Trudy's Cookies®

Orange County Mental Health Treatment Facility

The Story Of Trudy's Cookies®

Trudy (Gertrude) Kelly met a World War II American soldier and moved from Germany to the U.S., soon to be wife of her beloved soldier, Claude Kelly, and the mother of four boys, Jim, Johnny, Jerry and Scott.

Trudy's Presence Then

Growing up knowing Trudy was one of the best gifts a girl could ask for. I met Trudy when I was just weeks old. Over the next 15 years, I watched and learned from Trudy. She did so much with me, from making afternoon snacks, reading, sitting in the sun, to cooking and baking. Trudy taught me about kindness, hospitality and making people feel welcome. When I think of Trudy, I remember that homemade cookies needed to be in a beautiful tin or carefully placed on good china before serving. I think about the Christmas parties she hosted and how she made sure everyone was attended to, with food, drink and attention. But, most of all, in my memories I feel the awareness she had for what others liked and what she could do with that information to bless the person. When life served up stress or pain, Trudy’s presence was as comforting as her fresh baked cookies!

Trudy's Presence Today

Far before D’Amore Healthcare® was birthed, Trudy had set me on a course for an awareness of what people enjoy. From the experience of enjoying cookies with Trudy over tea while talking about life or listening to music, I share my passion for accommodating the little pleasures of others. One way I have chosen to carry on Trudy’s legacy is by giving every patient my own recipe of thick, fresh-baked cookies twice a week while they are at D’Amore Healthcare®. Most patients stay with us 30-45 days, so that is about 12 cookies per person during their stay. I know these cookies will not cure depression or schizophrenia, but I hope they are a soft spot in the warrior’s journey.

My Trudy passed away in 2015, but she had tried and loved all of the recipes. During our 30+ years as both friends and family, she gave me what I needed most to be a successful clinician and business owner: tuning in and sticking around through the hard part. Trudy’s cookies give the same message to our patients every time: you matter. To us, and to others. And, we are unwavering in our commitment to wrap you in comfort during your journey here at D’Amore Healthcare™.