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Crafters unite to sew pouches, blankets, nest for animals hurt by fires in Australia

Posted at 7:00 PM, Jan 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-10 10:30:45-05

JUNEAU — As the fires continue to burn in Australia, millions of animals are being killed and/or displaced. Now, just as fast as this news spread, crafters from all over the world, including hundreds in Wisconsin, are uniting to help the millions of affected animals.

"Seeing these animals that have been burned, that have been injured, that have nowhere to go because they have been displaced by these fires, it just makes you want to help," Rebecca Scholze, the organizer behind the Animal Rescue Craft Guild of Wisconsin, said.

Crafters are sewing and crocheting pouches for joeys, blankets for bats, and nests for birds whose natural habitat was destroyed.

"Those pouches are meant to simulate what the mother's pouch would be like in the wild," Scholze said.

These are crucially important since the animals have nowhere to go. So far, hundreds of Wisconsinites have been contributing their skills and resources to help.

"A lot of people are crocheting these nest and they are used for both birds and bats."

Scholze said that even though there has been overwhelming support, more is still needed.

"(Australian officials) don’t know how long it's going to take to put the fire out. They don’t know what (the) weather is going to bring."

The Animal Rescue Craft Guild of Wisconsin is part of a national guild of crafters across the country that lives primarily on Facebook.

In the three days since Scholze began the Wisconsin chapter, hundreds of people have joined.

"It's very encouraging that there are so many people out there that want to help and are willing to help," she said.

You can go to the Facebook page to learn about everything you can do to help from what materials are required, how you can make the pouches, and where you can donate your finished goods. There is also a gofundme to raise money to cover overseas shipping costs.

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