Volunteer and Advisory Council chair, Miss Jean Stevens, has put down roots in Bend for the past 14 years. As a very private, solitary person, the COVID-19 stay-at-home order adjustment for Jean wasn’t as hard as it has been for others.

“People who are creative and curious are going to handle [isolation] a lot easier than easily bored people. For somebody like me, there’s always something to learn. Whether reading or talking to friends from Massachusetts over Zoom or on the phone, I’m staying connected.”

In March, on Facebook, she read an article about activities you could do with your children during COVID. “I looked at the pictures and thought, to heck with kids; I want to do that. It was basically about making facial masks out of cardboard. They all seem to have a very strong leaning towards Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso.”

She already had a lot of cardboard, thanks to frequent Amazon purchases. “I’m very proud of my work. It’s very beginner, very rustic, or however, you want to put it. But I haven’t allowed myself to judge what I’m doing, or not doing. I’m just having fun.”

One of the masks she created is named Maureen. Another is she calls Carl. His last name is COVID, and he’s got issues. He can’t even wear his mask correctly. Some of Jean’s masks don’t just have a name, they have stories.

In her “spare” time, Jean volunteers to help others use Zoom, a web conferencing application. But, despite her triumphs, life hasn’t been entirely rosy. Once and a while, Jean feels despondent and overwhelmed. “It was my way of avoiding a different word, which is depressed.”

Through her association with Mosaic Medical, Jean learned about a hotline sponsored by a group of behavioral health workers. She called and has had three sessions so far. “I’m very grateful for this hotline. It’s helped me. I look forward to it. We’re going to talk in three weeks, and I think I’ll know more. Am I going to continue feeling depressed? Am I going to come out of this, so I don’t need any more assistance?”

Jean continues, “Actually, anything people are going through right now, they’re not alone, even though it certainly feels that way. I try very hard not to make assumptions about other people during these times. Because we may not all be in the same boat, but we’re certainly floating on the same river in different kinds of craft. We are in this together. Let’s see how we can help each other.”


  1. 1
    Dixie Eckford on March 17, 2021

    This is inspiring! Thank you Jean for everything you do for your community and for bringing a smile to my morning. Love your masks, and appreciate you. Keep up the good work; there is a gallery opening in your future 🙂

    1. 2
      Natalie Jean Stevens on May 14, 2021

      Just saw your comment, Dixie, and want to thank you. I do ‘owe’ you and Toni, and that ought to scare you lol I am honored to be involved with COA, and specifically with fine people such as yourself. Thank you for all that you do at the COA and for Sisters. Your community is lucky to have such a fine representative & voice.

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