image copyright Katoomba Animal Rescue
At the time of this writing, the Australian bushfires still continue. More than one hundred bushfires are still burning, over 12 million acres of land (the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined) has been destroyed, and many species native to Australia are on the brink of extinction due to the vast loss. If the animals have not lost their lives in the fire, their natural habitat can no longer provide them food and water which means they will eventually die from starvation unless they are rescued.
While this news is terribly sad and the future seems very bleak for many of these creatures, efforts around the world are being made to help those who cannot help themselves. According to an article in the Guardian, the Animal Rescue Collective Craft Guild, an Australian based group, sent out a call to crafters through Facebook for pouches. According to the article, it is not just kangaroos who need pouches, but “young marsupials including possums, koalas and wombats require pouches to grow. Without their mothers they rely on hand-stitched products from donors. Other animals such as flying foxes also require pouches to help their recovery, and rescuers say koalas need mittens for their burnt paws.” (Despite flying foxes not being marsupials, pouches are used to help them feel safe while they recover from the trauma and burns.)
Originally when this piece was written, it was to help spread the word to those of us wanting to do something to help soothe this catastrophic event. However, the Facebook page on the Animal Rescue Collective Craft Guild (ARCCG) for the US states that the hubs that are collecting material are presently on hold because the response was so overwhelming! The ARCCG in Australia needs to assess what has come in and what is specifically needed. As the fires continue to burn, materials will be needed, so if you are a talented soul and able to sew, crochet, or knit, please consider contacting ARCCG, just Google “Animal Rescue Craft Guild.” The sites on Facebook are public so access should be easy enough. For those uncomfortable with Facebook, go to mkc.org.au to find out how you can help either by donating or finding a participating craft guild in your area.
The TOS in US sends its thoughts and heartfelt prayers to Australia.