Deadly wildfires have been sweeping through Australia since September, scorching millions of acres of land. Australians have lost their homes and lives in these bushfires. Animals have also been affected, with millions of them dying in the fire. These include koalas, kangaroos, wombats, birds, reptiles, and other animals that call Australia home.
There are also many animals that have been displaced from their homes and baby animals who have been separated from their mothers. These animals desperately need a safe place to recover. The great news is that if you have sewing, knitting, or crochet skills, you can help. These animals need handmade pouches, beds, and nests.
Be sure to follow the specific guidelines on how to make these items, including what type of fabric or yarn to use, what size to make, and any other important details that will make the animals more comfortable.
Recovering kangaroos, possums, wallabies, and other animals need pouches and animal beds that can be sewn. There's a high need for all of these items.
Wondering what fabric to use for these patterns? Refer to the fabric guidelines to see which project requires which fabric.
- Joey Pouches: These are the items needed most right now in all sizes from XXS to XXL. These are for baby kangaroos who have gotten separated or lost their mothers. It's a warm space for them to rest that mimics their mother's pouch. There are additional instructions and pattern pieces you can use over at Piccolo Studio.
- Hanging Pouches: Another highly needed item is hanging joey and wallaby pouches. There are day pouches that allow a little room for them to look around while in the pouch, and night pouches that keep them safe and cozy. Printable pattern pieces are also available. There's also a need for hanging possum pouches.
- 3D Hanging Pouches: These 3D hanging pouches are for older joeys who need to be able to jump in and out of the pouches on their own.
- Animal Beds: Beds for all animals displaced from the fires are needed so they can be put into crates to give the animals a soft place to recover. There are directions on how to make sizes from extra small to extra large and all of those sizes are needed.
Crocheting and Knitting Patterns
If you know how to crochet or knit, you can also help out by using your skills to make joey pouches, micro pouches, and nests.
You can login to Facebook and go to the Files section of the Animal Craft Rescue Guild's Facebook page for guidelines for what type of yarn you should use for these patterns as well as a yarn weight chart for reference.
- Joey Pouches: You can also make joey pouches by knitting or crocheting them. The lining will need to be made of fabric, but if you don't have the materials or ability to sew, those can be put in by another volunteer at a later time. Be sure to follow the guidelines for which type of yarn to use.
- Micro Pouches: Micro pouches are for tiny animals that need a warm pouch. Whether you're knitting or crocheting them, you'll need to use 100% wool yarn.
- Nests: Homemade nests are needed in all sizes to fit the smallest of birds to a whole family of rabbits. There are directions for a knitted rescue nest and a crocheted nest, too, available on the Animal Craft Rescue Guild's page.
Where to Send Your Items
Once you've finished making any of these items, you'll need to mail them or drop them off at a hub location. These are changing all the time due to needs in certain areas. If you're in the United States, visit the Animal Rescue Craft Guild of America for the latest list of locations. If you're in Australia, you can visit the Animal Rescue Craft Guild for a list.
Other Ways to Donate
If you are not a crafter and would still like to help you can donate craft materials so someone else can do the creating. Inquire about where to send these by sending a message to Animal Rescue Craft Guild of America or Animal Rescue Craft Guild in Australia.
You can also donate money to organizations to help with the effort. Here's where you can do that:
- World Wildlife Fund for Australia
- Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors
- Australian Red Cross
- The Salvation Army Australia