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Needle-Wielding Warriors May Save the World Yet

Needle-Wielding Warriors May Save the World Yet

Globe image by Arek Socha
Crochet image by FeeLoona
Adapted by KS Pepper

Catastrophe Strikes Australia’s Native Wildlife

Permanently imprinted on my brain is the image of a baby kangaroo who burned to death entangled in a wire fence. He was trying to escape but I presume was unable to jump over or through the barrier given his small size.  Or maybe he was too confused or distressed to navigate the obstacle. This along with all the young marsupials – kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, possums, bats, sugar gliders, and wombats – found in the pouches of their dead mothers or who have burnt feet and noses. A koala’s life is spent in trees, so when the tree is on fire, her instinct is to climb higher rather than leave it.

Equally heartbreaking to me are the videos of these animals approaching humans for help. This is highly unusual behavior. Their distress is so great that approaching a potential threat seems like the only alternative for survival. Some of the animals, stressed and disoriented, flee the fires only to be killed by feral cats or hit by cars. Rescue workers and volunteers have been tasked to check the pouches of dead kangaroos for babies (joeys). Others are escaping the fires only to die of starvation or dehydration because their habitat is gone. Australia is experiencing the worst drought on record and vital water sources have dried up.

Australian wildlife was already under threat from climate change and also industrialized farming, which has literally changed the landscape through deforestation, decimating wildlife populations. Stories of injured koalas hiding beneath piles of felled trees or of those who had gone off for food returning to a home that no longer existed add a special kind of soul-ache to an already brokenhearted situation.  

According to the New York Times and almost every other news source, a billion animals have perished in Australia – 800 million in New South Wales alone – from the bushfires. Australia is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world with flora and fauna found nowhere else on this planet.  Now many species are facing extinction.

Katoomba/Leura Rural Fire Brigade
~Photographer unknown

On Kangaroo Island, off the coast of South Australia, in addition to countless kangaroos, wallabies and pygmy possums, possibly one-half of the 50,000 koalas have been killed in the fires that have now devastated a third of the island, according to the Guardian. The Kangaroo Island dunnart and the rare glossy black cockatoo may have been completely wiped out in the bushfires. The dunnart, whose only home in the world is Kangaroo Island, is a marsupial too small to outrun the ferocious flames. Because it’s the start of the breeding season, the glossy black-cockatoo females may have perished with their eggs rather than fly away.

A Fat-tailed Dunnart on the Charles Darwin Reserve, WA, Bush Heritage Australia

~Photo by Tim Doherty

As the world witnesses this jaw-dropping catastrophe unfold, many of us are trying to find a way to grapple with the cruel reality and cope with our grief. And thanks to the Animal Rescue Craft Guild, hundreds of thousands of people have a way to channel their despair into something constructive — crafting essential goods to help the animals.  These goods, handmade pouches, nests, beds, blankets, and pillows provide more than comfort to the rescued animals. The pouches are a substitute for what the joey (a baby marsupial) would experience with her mother. For example, a hand-raised joey needs 30 pouches as she grows. Each of those pouches should have 2-3 liners. Also, many of the animals have burnt paws that need special mittens. Given the tens of thousands of rescued animals, one can do a quick calculation to see there’s a big need to provide handmade comfort to the abandoned, burnt, and injured wildlife that people are frantically trying to save.

Crafters to the Rescue

I’m not a crafty person when it comes to working with fabrics or yarn. Hand me a paintbrush or oil pastels, and I can make something happen, but knitting needles? Nope. I see one of those and I want to throw down chunks of tofu with veggies and mushrooms and turn that bad boy into a kabob. I have knitted broken bones after a serious fracture and on occasion, I make daring attempts to knit words into a story, but I am unskilled when it comes to creating something useful out of yarn or fabric. In junior high, I and a couple of girlfriends petitioned our school for an extra woodshop class, which got me out of Home-ec sewing. I wasn’t really thinking ahead there. It’s hard to dress in a wooden stool or a bookshelf. 

So, when I read an article from the Guardian about the Animal Rescue Craft Guild and the Rescue Collective in Australia needing handmade pouches for young abandoned marsupials like the flying foxes, kangaroos, koalas, and possums, whose survival depends on growing inside a pouch, I took some action. No, vulnerable Australian wildlife did not miraculously turn me into a crafter even if the idea briefly sprinted across my brain. A paragraph later, I’m still unskilled in that area. So while I’m not physically creating a pouch or nest to help injured and orphaned animals or rather, my injured heart in despair for them, I am doing what I can—outreach through this blog—as a way to assist while dealing with the shroud of helplessness weighing upon my shoulders.

Animal Rescue Guild

I joined the Animal Rescue Craft Guild (ARC), which at the time had about 100,000 members and now roughly two weeks later has 230,000. Quietly, I stood in the corner of the internet witnessing one of my favorite things in the world: humans stepping up and uniting to help animals. Did I say stepping up? This has been more of a mad rush; a flashflood of goodness, a Black Friday of generosity, a breaking dam of awesomeness. It was reminiscent of Oregon’s recent monarch butterfly rescue only with about 200 times more people. I found myself, this quiet bystander in the corner of the internet, feeling overwhelmed with the staggering number of posts from around the world – people, mostly women, but also many children, teens, and husbands and boyfriends using their nimble fingers to manage a profound sense of despair for the countless injured animals and the billion that already perished.

In less than a hot minute, I was crying. This time I wasn’t crying directly because of scorched, starving, and orphaned koala, wallaby, kangaroo, wombat, or bat babies as I’ve shed many tears for them. This time I was weeping for the sheer outpouring of love from across the globe. It was a relief cry of sorts, as if my heart could finally exhale because help was on the way. The help showed up in so many beautiful ways. Mothers posted about how their sons and daughters were asking to be taught to sew in order to help. Children were emptying their piggy banks and singing or selling toys to raise money. A 6-year-old from Massachusetts turned his handmade clay koalas into a fundraiser earning $20,000 in donations! Seniors were dusting off boxes of materials and rising to the call of action. Scout Troops were pitching in. An 18-year old guy with one arm was sewing pouches, and a 14-year-old who is on the autism spectrum took up sewing for this cause. He also started a Facebook page, Sammy’s Messenger of Peace

A Japanese woman translated all the pattern instructions so that others in Japan could help. Stores were donating fabric and folks were finding ways to repurpose pillowcases and other household materials. Hubs were set up all over the world as collection points for handmade goods. Shipment deals were brokered and individuals were offering transcontinental transport, although I suspect many of the hub point-people are carrying the burden of shipping costs. In addition to the whole of Australia, I saw almost every European country (here’s a cool story about Iceland) represented, as well as dozens of US states and New Zealand, China, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, India, the UAE, Turkey, South Africa, South Korea, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Argentina, Russia, Ukraine, Panama, Israel +++.   

Wildlife Warriors

As I dug more deeply into the research, I discovered countless wildlife rescue groups and nonprofits in Australia with what seems to be thousands of animal carers whose unwavering commitments to tirelessly manage the constant influx of vulnerable animals is astonishing.  While there’s no minimizing the horrors of this devastating tragedy, the heroic efforts of firefighters, good Samaritans and great neighbors, wildlife caregivers, and the very special crafters are the flashes of brilliance shining upon a brutally dark time. These people are wildlife warriors of wonder. 

I have been watching, in awe, people from all over the world rush in to help, and I feel more closely connected to the help provided by the crafters, because the Animal Rescue Craft Guild Facebook page has been a source of inspiration. These folks are a special kind of warrior – champions feverishly working behind the scenes with their knitting, sewing, or crocheting needles. It’s a form of altruistic art because their masterpieces will never be shown in a museum. Most will not gain notoriety or earn anything from their efforts. It’s all being done out of the sheer desire to help, a true labor of love. They, like many of us, are searching to make sense of this incomprehensible tragedy, except they have found a way to fill that wounded heart-space by selflessly sharing their love through handmade pouches, blankets, beds, pillows, and nests – some of the most compelling symbols of mothering and nurturance.

Having spent hours reading the various posts and comments, I come away with the sense that 230,000 people can coexist in the same space and for the most part be kind to one another because they share a core value of compassion even if they may not share the same opinions. I have hope despite the random comment from a Judgie MsJudgerpants, like one from a woman in Arizona who crushed my wide-eyed innocence of thinking that everyone with ARC was kind. I recognize the occasional aggressor will surface, but she and those like her eventually slip away and into irrelevancy because the goodness is too great.

If two hundred thousand people from all over the world—from all walks of life, ages, ethnicities, cultures, religions, and political leanings—can come together, united by the graces of sorrow and love in solidarity of kindness for ailing wildlife from one of the most tragic events of my lifetime, they are not only helping to heal animals; they are helping to heal our fragmented society. It’s a bit of a leap, I know, but I can’t help but have hope that this global wake-up call and the folks who are answering it may have indirectly kicked-off a conversation about solving the climate crisis and healing our planet. Bound together by a common thread—saving our voiceless and vulnerable animal cohabitants—these needle-wielding warriors give me faith that out of the ashes of Australia’s catastrophic fires has arisen a phoenix of humanity carrying on its wings a hope that may very well save the earth.

I know. I’m the unapologetic queen of sap.

Wildlife Warriors and the Animals They Help

If you scoot to the bottom, you’ll see ways in which you can help. First I want to show-n-tell a few stories I found and people I met on ARC’s and several other Facebook pages.

WIRES Australian Wildlife Rescue Organisation

The WIRES mission is to actively rehabilitate and preserve Australian wildlife and inspire others to do the same. Maree Hawker, Wildlife Carer with WIRES shared her experience with a Yellow-Bellied Glider, a nocturnal gliding possum (shown below):

This stunning little fellow is the elusive Yellow-Bellied Glider, and he came into care on Boxing Day when he got caught on a barbed-wire fence. Luckily he was disentangled and taken to WIRES. His nickname is Fluffaluffagus as yellow-bellied gliders are often referred to as “fluffy gliders”.

Treated for a small tear on his wing membrane, Fluffaluffagus’ recovery was aided by ARH West Gosford and SAH Somersby. Fluffaluffagus put his complete trust in Maree throughout his treatment. On the day she released him back to his home, he showed his gratitude by swooshing away in a glorious glide.

Feathertail Glider

“Currently, in care for burns, this tiny but fully-grown female Feathertail Glider was rescued by WIRES on the South Coast of NSW. They are the only known mammal to have a tail shaped like a bird’s feather, hence their name. The Feathertail Glider’s tail length is 7-8 centimeters and she uses it to steer and brake as she glides through the trees. These stunning native animals can glide up to 28 meters up to five times an hour. The Feathertail Glider is at home in the trees, feeding on insects, pollen and nectar, and it launches itself into the air when it needs to get from one tree to the next. Feathertail gliders live in communal groups of between 5 to 30 individuals and are found throughout eastern Australia and from south Australia through to north Queensland.”

Maree Hawker, WIRES Wildlife Carer

Feathertail Glider
~Photo by Matt Kemp

Australian wildlife impacted by fires, Possum

Prancer the Possum
Prancer was found by a WIRES volunteer, Tracy, only yards from one of the fires. Shocked and confused, this little possum is in care now and doing okay.
~Photo by Matt Kemp

This little ball of exhaustion is a Ringtail possum with burnt and bandaged paws. She is currently in care with WIRES volunteer Maree Hawker, and she is doing well as Maree was able to get to her quickly and provide treatment.
~Photographer Unknown

“Baby Henry says thanks for the cozy pouches.”
Henry is a Brushtail possum.
~ Maree Hawker

To help wildlife affected by the fires and drought please support WIRES

1300KOALAZ Inc.

1300KOALAZ Inc. is a 100% volunteer-run organization focusing on the Rescue, Release, and Rehabilitation of Koalas. Its membership includes people from SAVEM (South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management).

With permission from 1300KOALAZ, I pulled a couple of informative and touching videos from their Koala Channel on Youtube. This gives you a better idea of the kind of care 1300KOALAZ provides. Grab a hanky.

Check out more videos on their Koala Channel and 1300KOALAZ’s GoFundMe campaign to help cover costs incurred for the retrieval, treatment, short-term and long-term care of any of the injured koalas which come into their care.

Northern Tablelands Wildlife Carers

Northern Tablelands Wildlife Carers is a network of trained volunteers licensed by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service to rescue and rehabilitation of native wildlife. Coordinator Jacquie Maisey shared a video demonstrating Bat Behavior – rescued and rehabilitating Flying Foxes.

After they are fed and wrapped in the wonderful bat wraps, washers and squares that have been donated, they groom themselves. Towards the end of the video you’ll see how bats toilet themselves and keep clean. They are extremely fussy about their hygiene and don’t tolerate being dirty and most of them are now old enough to clean themselves.

Due to extreme heat and habitat destruction caused by bushfires, the Flying Foxes are in need of human intervention. You can help these vital pollinators who keep native forests healthy by donating to Northern Tablelands Wildlife Carers. There are two ways to donate:

1. Paypal
Please use the word ‘donation to flying foxes’ in the reference.
2. Website
Donate here. Please specify “flying foxes“.

Flying Foxes
If the video of flying foxes grooming themselves and scampering all over one another didn’t grab your heart, perhaps this image of the little ones in their bat wraps will. I’ve always loved bats, but baby bats? Heart.Melting.

~Photo by carer Jacqui Kingsley of Northern Tablelands Wildlife Carers

Wildlife Victoria

For 30 years, WildlifeVictoria has provided the community with a Wildlife Emergency Response. They support efforts by government, community groups and individuals to ameliorate threats to wildlife, particularly those that are caused by humans. Receiving 80,000 calls a year helping over 50,000 animals annually, Wildlife Victoria has the largest network of volunteers and shelters in Victoria.

Wildlife Victoria’s Bushfire Appeal

Dozens of wildlife shelters and carers around the state have been affected by the Victorian bushfires and extreme heat events. Donations will be distributed to wildlife shelters and carers to help rebuild enclosures and equipment that they have lost in the fires so that they can continue their lifesaving work and support those that are struggling to cope with the overwhelming number of animals that will need care in the coming weeks and months.

Bushfire appeal funds that we raise will be distributed to all wildlife shelters in Victoria even those not directly associated with Wildlife Victoria.

Donations for Wildlife Victoria can be made through:
Website (preferable as it clears faster)
Facebook Fundraiser

Report a Victoria wildlife emergency here.

Stevie Galati Emergency Response Operator of WildlifeVictoria shared a story about the Goongerah Wombat Orphanage, a shelter in their network:

After receiving permission to return to their orphanage, Emily and her mother, Sharron, found a ‘tiny pocket of green surrounded by black devastation’. With fires still burning, they were relieved to discover that the wombats in their care stayed out of harm’s way by hiding in their burrows. Very few of the other animals—possums, kangaroos, and birds—have returned since the fires.

Emily and Sharron will now be staying to make sure their little ones are safe as they help other local shelters with animal care and feed while everyone tries to rebuild and heal from the losses.

This photo of Emily by her mother, Sharron Small, speaks volumes to the deluge of emotions carers feel—relief for the survivors, unreconcilable sorrow for the deaths, profound worry for the missing, and despair for the losses—all the while immersed in a sea of emotional, physical, and spiritual exhaustion.

Donations to the Goongerah Wombat Orphanage can be made via their website or a GoFundme Campaign set up for them. 

Mallacoota Wildlife Shelter

Mallacoota is in the heart of the devastating bushfires, the Gippsland region of Victoria Australia. Mallacoota Wildlife Shelter is being inundated with animals coming to the shelter while carers and volunteers desperately search for injured or starving animals yet to be found deep in the charred bush.

The Mallacoota Wildlife Shelter Fire Relief Fund has been organized to assist the ever-increasing need for wildlife help in Mallacoota.

~Photo by Mez Buchanan

Animal Rescue Craft (ARC) Guild Crafters

A longarm quilter, Debbie Nelson donates her quilts to raise funds for Veterans. Her quilts earn charities around $1800 each. Receiving no funding for her efforts, Debbie does this work in honor of her deceased father (January 11, 2010) who was in the Armed Forces for 26 years.

These are the lovely Joey Pouches that Debbie donated to ARC.

Barbara Szabadfi with Mandula Művek – horgolt design táskák (Almond Works Crochet Design Bags) made these beautiful crocheted nests and she donated them to ARC to help injured animals.

From Hungary with love ♥

Girl Scout Troop #3713 did a fabulous job making these lovely bat wraps and pouches! Awesomeness. Well done girls!
Photo shared on ARC by Maria Jimenez, California.

The Brownie Girl Scout Troop 60082 in Elysburg, Pennsylvania, took to the sewing machines to create these much-needed bat wraps. Girl power making a difference in the world. ?
Photo by Jen Zarko.

Kate from Oregon
Kate’s daughter who helped construct pouches was very excited to participate in the effort. The 5-year old had many good ideas: to donate her own savings, to send a bucket of water, and to send some tree seeds.

The little one donated her savings. Sometimes the most extraordinary gifts come from the smallest packages.

Karen Gilmore, with the club Knit & Natter, based in Wanneroo (WA), supports local native animal as well as domestic animal rescues.

“Our local rescue brought two babies to thank us for our crafting… we have been supporting them for years, it melts your heart to see these orphans!”

The wildlife carer for the kangaroos is Andrea Jane from Express Wildlife Rescue.

Native Animal Rescue also benefits from Knit & Natter’s handmade goos.

Melek Calis is with the Turkish Australian volunteer group called Good Community Volunteers Australia.

In 2 days, these ladies sewed 305 Koala Mittens and shipped them to The Animal Rescue Craft Guild.

A message from Melek, “I thank each and every individual person who has contributed to this good cause assisting injured Australian animals from the bushfire. May God bless you all.”

Leeanne Priest of Melbourne made three different kinds of beautiful Hanging Joey Pouches and demonstrated their use with her furry animal friends. “Sharing is Caring.” ?

Trish Bone coordinator for ARC southern Tasmania and ARC Craft Guild hub in Tasmania shared accounts of rescued animals making excellent use of their newly sewn pouches.

“This poor little baby Brushtail Possum was found clinging to her dead mum. Baby Poss’s carer says she’s still in shock, but will be safe and comfy in her cozy ARC Craft Guild hanging pouch and pouch liners. Poss’s pouches will go with her as she moves from her quarantine cage to an outdoor enclosure so that she had something familiar and comforting with her smell on it.” 
~Photo by carer Jacqui Kingsley of Northern Tablelands Wildlife Carers

“Pademelon joeys Willow and Oak reckon their new Craft Guild hanging pouch is the best-est, most comfy thing ever! Easy to see why carers and their joeys just cannot get enough of these cozy 3D hanging pouches. They feel soooo much like being in mama’s pouch!! Sweet hanging pouch dreams, little Willow and Oak.”
~Photo by Ella Jung, carer at Yollys Wildlife Rescue, Tasmania

Instructions and Important Information

For Australians: to help injured wildlife during bushfires

WIRES – Important Rescue Advice
If you find a native animal suffering burns or one that has any sort of injury or is in a situation where assistance is required please call WIRES 1300 094 737 immediately. Whenever possible and if it is safe to do so, gently wrap the animal in 100% cotton fabric and contain in a box or well-ventilated container while you wait for a rescuer or while you transport to the nearest vet. If you are unable to contain the animal we would ask that wherever possible to please stay with the animal until our rescuer arrives. Animals with burns that are simply called in may not be able to be found by our rescuers. This places them at risk of infection and our volunteers can spend valuable time searching for injured animals. 

Here is information on the recommended Rescue Kit to keep in your home and car in case you find injured or orphaned wildlife.

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service 
Here are some instructions for helping injured wildlife including feeding and hydrating them.  

Government of South Australia
Here is some more advice for helping wildlife impacted by the bushfires.

For Crafters

Go to the Animal Rescue Craft Guild Facebook page to see regular updates on what they do and do not need.

The admins with ARC are working their tails off to keep everything flowing and organized. Here are some guidelines for those who are shipping items overseas.

Please be sure to wash your items in unscented biodegradable detergent. White vinegar is the best option.

Three Ways You Can Help Australian Wildlife Right Now

1. Support the Crafters, Makers, and Collectives

Animal Rescue Craft Guild
Started in April 2019, ARC is doing incredible work. Currently, with a membership of 230,000, the members sew, make, design and recycle “everything” to make products that help animal rescuers. The 17 admins and moderators for this group are working very hard to keep everything flowing. I doubt these ladies (and guy) are getting much sleep.

You can join the group and stay current with their news and needs. Right now they, along with the Animal Rescue Collective, are in urgent need of funds to feed tens of thousands of animals whose habitat has been destroyed. Priority #1 is feeding the animals. On January 14, they purchased $31,000 (US) for food supply. This is over 30 tons of food to five states across Australia. In one day.  As of Jan 15, 80 tons of food have been distributed.  Click here to read about the “Convoy for Wildlife”. The Craft Guild has donated nearly $200k to help cover costs for “food, grants, firefighting equipment, more food, medical, drugs, food, hay, food, water and things to carry it in”.

Donate here Animal Rescue Craft Guild.
Donate here to the Animal Rescue Collective.

Animal Rescue Cooperative
The goal of this group is to work with the community, rescue organizations and many others to grow a well supplied and supported national rescue network. To do this, they connect people who need products with people who have it. If you have animal-related items to give away to rescuers, shelters or to other people in need then post them up here! Here people can find their nearest rescuer or wishlist. Here you can find drop-off points. Register as a drop-off hub here.

ARC Animal Rescue MacGyver Makers Guild
This is the group for the McGyvers of the world, craftsmen/women. The ARC Animal Rescue MacGyver Makers Guild is a volunteer group supporting wildlife carers everywhere. They are makers who are providing a valuable wildlife service by building nesting boxes for possums, sugar gliders, and owls and also wombat holes, water stations, and feeders.

Relief Crafters of America
With a membership of 54,000, the members of this group are hard-working supporters of Australia’s rescue efforts.
Here Americans can find updated information along with instructions, announcements, and drop-off hubs.

2. Support a Wildlife Rescue Organization

In December 2019 WIRES 1300 line received over 20,000 calls and volunteers attended over 3,300 rescues. They now receive up to 1000 calls a day. Your support will help ensure future generations will get to see wildlife in the wild.  

Join WIRES Facebook page.
Checkout the WIRES website, and if you’re local and have extra time you can sign up for their training program to volunteer.
Register here to receive E-news.

Donate to the WIRES Emergency Fund
You may receive an error message due to high volumes of usage on their website, only submit once and check your bank account. Please use Safari or Explorer.

***Northern Tablelands Wildlife Carers 
NTWC aims to:

  • rescue and rehabilitate native animals across the Northern Tablelands region
  • form a strong local support network of skilled wildlife carers and interested members
  • raise funds to help carers meet veterinary, feeding costs and administration costs
  • work with landholders in the wider areas of education, research, habitat, re-vegetation and release sites.

You can check out NTWC’s Facebook page for updates. Like many of the smaller volunteer groups, Northern Tablelands Wildlife Carers rely on donations. Two ways to donate to NTWC:
1. PayPal using the email address Please write ‘donation to flying foxes’ in the reference.
2. Directly on their Website. Please specify it’s for flying foxes

1300KOALAZ is the largest group of experienced and dedicated Volunteer Koala Carers and Rescuers in South Australia. Their GoFundMe campaign helps cover costs incurred for the retrieval, treatment, short-term and long-term care of any of the injured koalas which come into their care.

Any of the organizations listed on this post will welcome support.

3. Purchase Well Earth Well Me (US only)

My publisher, Penny Eifrig and I are donating 100% of the profits (post shipping) from my book to the Animal Rescue Craft Guild and the Australian Human Society. By purchasing Well Earth Well Me!, you will be helping both of those organizations and you’ll get a book about caring for the earth!

Four Ways You Can Help Animals at Home

If you are feeling helpless or if you have been propelled into action by these tragedies in Australia but are to unable to make a donation, there are things you can do right now in your own community to help combat despair and to feel empowered about helping animals. 

  1. Volunteer at your local animal shelter
    Let’s face it, these places are understaffed, underfunded, and in some cases, underappreciated. Helping your local animal shelter has a lasting impact on you, the animal, the organization, and your community.
  2. Eliminate beef and palm oil
    As someone who sustains herself on a plant-based diet, I would be remiss not to mention humans’ consumption of animals and the impact that has on our planet. We look in horror (rightfully) at the numbers – 1 billion animals perished in these bushfires. In the US alone, roughly nine billion land animals are slaughtered each year for food. Worldwide, 70 billion animals are slaughtered for food. This equates to Australia’s bushfires fatalities occurring every year for 70 years – that’s a human lifetime. Even if you only eliminated beef, you will help minimize the grave problem of deforestation which contributes to the widespread loss of wildlife habitat. The lives of these innocent beings who have no choice and no voice in the matter are becoming increasingly dependent upon what we eat for dinner.

    Palm plantations are the leading cause of rainforest destruction in Indonesia and Malaysia – both home to the endangered orangutans. By selecting foods that don’t contain palm oil (ubiquitous in processed foods) or by choosing sustainably sourced palm oil, you are choosing to save orangutans and other wildlife.
  3. Wildlife Rescue Nests
    An organization out of Ontario, Wildlife Rescue Nests has a mission to “provide safe, tightly constructed nests to licensed wildlife rehabilitators.” Crafters can join WRN and share the love of their needle-wielding brilliance with birds and small mammals around the world.
  4. Preserve public lands
    Support habitat preservation efforts by advocating to preserve public lands. Take a stand if your government is prioritizing fossil fuels over land conservation. Conservation matters. Preserving public lands preserves history, wildlife, and our future generations’ rights to wide, open spaces. When a government sells off public lands to the fossil fuels industry, they are selling out on our children’s’ futures.

As always, thanks for reading and caring.
My heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone who so generously shared their information, photos, and time with me and to those hundreds of thousands of crafters who are making this planet a better place one stitch at a time.

I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.

~Maya Angelou

Often it’s the deepest pain which empowers you to grow into your highest self.

~Karen Salmansohn

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.

~Kahlil Gibra


    1. Hello Penny, and thank you for writing in!

      Your best bet is to join the Animal Rescue Craft Guild on Facebook. Once you’re a member, you can click on the “files” tab (left side just above “recommendations”. There are about 80 PDFs of patterns for knitting, crocheting, and sewing.

      Please let me know if you have any more questions!


  1. Kim Mitchell

    Wonderful piece! I am part of the UK arm, and we got 23,000 crafters in 7 days, who have all been busy knitting, crocheting and sewing things! It’s wonderful how the world can unite for something!

  2. Demets Isabelle

    je tenais à vous remercier d’avoir si bien exprimé nos sentiments de désarroi, de tristesse , de peine, mais aussi notre volonté de vous venir en aide par les petits moyens qui sont à notre suis de tout coeur avec en pensées pour tous les petits “disparus”

  3. Peggy Wolff

    Beautifully said, all of it!
    I appreciate that you wrote about the kids who are doing what they can to help.
    I was lucky to be able to send a few things I made. With such devastation, we usually feel there is nothing we can do. Being able to knit and crochet gave me a way to help. And if my gifts don’t make it to Australia, I know they will be used in some way.
    As I said to a friend recently, I am so proud of humans right now!

  4. Kay

    Thank you , you’ve articulated what I’ve been feeling. We’ve lost billions of animals and gained heaps of beautiful crafting friends. I’m seeing australia covered in knitting. 🙂 please crafters don’t be disillusioned by the halt on posting. We are still trying to find recycled containers to carry water out to the bushfire areas, it feels everyone here is trying to do something. Everyone I ask is helping in some way. Beautiful article!

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