D&E Trustee, Alumna Putting Talents to Work During Pandemic

ELKINS – Nancy Evans-Bennett doesn’t have to look for things to keep her occupied during the pandemic. The Davis & Elkins College Trustee and 1966 alumna powers through every day spreading kindness in every way she can.

A seamstress since childhood, she’s recently put her skills to work making masks for friends, neighbors and anyone who wants them. In her home state of New Jersey, wearing the face coverings in stores is mandatory.

“I usually make about 10 day. Once you get started, it goes quickly,” she said, adding that so far she has made between 60 and 70 masks.

The colorful and varied themes come from extra pieces of fabric Evans-Bennett had left from her quilting projects.

“The problem I’m having now is finding elastic,” she explained. “I just bought 5 yards and I have another order in.”

Once the masks are made, Evans-Bennett delivers them and sends out messages asking who is in need of the next batch.

Her work doesn’t stop at the sewing machine. Evans-Bennett heads on to the kitchen where she prepares meals for recent widowers and anyone else who comes to mind that she thinks would appreciate a homecooked dinner, complete with dessert.

“I just made dinner for my daughter’s best friend,” she said. “She works in healthcare and has been putting in a lot of hours.”

Evans-Bennett and her husband, Jim Messersmith, package the meals and make their deliveries.

In between times, Evans-Bennett leads virtual sewing group meetings and visits her neighbors “from about 10 feet apart.”

“I just get bored if I don’t have anything to do,” she explained. “And, it just feels good to do something for somebody.”

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