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Australia fires spark creativity in caring crafters
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Photo provided Seamstress Charity White has been sewing diligently since Monday, making carry pouches that will be sent to Australia and used to care for injured or orphaned animals. People who can sew, knit or crochet have been asked to join the Global Craft Movement and supply necessary items.

While wildfires in Australia continue to rage, a global spark has been lit under volunteers who are sewing pouches for Australia’s orphaned or injured kangaroos, koalas and bats. 

“It broke my heart to see devastation that’s taking place in Australia,” said Charity White, a Warren County resident. “I love animals. Koalas are probably my favorite animals in Australia. One koala’s little paws were burnt. How can you see that and not act? I can’t do much, but I can sew. I can definitely do that.” 

She is among 150,000 crafters in America who have stepped up to answer a global call that went out Monday, Jan. 6 for individuals who can sew, knit and crochet to make items, such as koala mittens, bat wraps, carry bag pouches, knitted bird nests and kitten onesies. Those items are among those needed to care for injured and orphaned animals.

Massive brushfires across Australia are being fueled by record-breaking temperatures, months of severe drought and careless people. According to reports, it is estimated that over 1 billion animals are feared dead in Australian wildfires.

Since the call went out, White has been sewing items from leftover material and making contact with a coordinator who will be working with UPS to ship the items to Australia. 

“They have divided the U.S. into regional hubs and there’s one person over each region,” said White. “If you can’t sew, knit or crochet and you still want to help, you can donate material to those that can. They have requested specific material. It needs to be 100 percent quilting cotton, because that’s all natural fibers. They don’t want any polyester or synthetics. They need material that’s breathable.”

BJ’s Custom Quilting on Sparta Street has 100 percent quilting cotton and Walmart has flannel material that is acceptable, said White, who added that the animals won’t care which color or pattern is used in the pouches. 

Covent Academy, located at 1079 Country Club Drive, will be accepting donations of material. The school is open Monday thru Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.