Local crafters creating items for injured wildlife in Australia

A koala bear is nestled in a donated blanket. (Source: CNN)
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- People in Wisconsin are taking out their needles, irons, and sewing machines to create items for animals injured in Australia’s bushfires.

The local movement was spurred on social media by the Animal Rescue Craft Guild of WI. The page is run by Rebecca Scholze, who lives in Juneau. There are more than 1,200 members across the state, including members from Southern Wisconsin. The group was created on Jan. 5 and Scholze never imagined the size of the response.

“It’s extremely heartwarming, a little overwhelming, and beyond exciting,” said Scholze. “I had hopes that we would get a good number of volunteers in the beginning, but I never imagined we would have 1200+ members in less than a week!”

Scholze said pouches are being made for joeys, bats will receive blankets, and nests are being made for birds whose habitat was destroyed. Mittens are also being made to help animals with burns. She said even after the need is “met” in Australia, she will still encourage people to keep creating for the local shelters and rescue centers in the United States.

“If everyone keeps creating and donating, we will continue to find places that are in need of receiving their creations,” said Scholze.

The crafting effort for Australia isn’t just unique to Wisconsin. Groups across the country and the world are making items for injured wildlife.

People can go to the Animal Rescue Craft Guild of WI Facebook page to learn about patterns, hubs, and where to donate finished goods. There is also a gofundme page for people to donate online for shipment costs to Australia.

The Animal Rescue Craft Guild of WI is part of a larger national group that exists on social media.

Several joeys are resting in pouches donated by crafters around the world. (Source: CNN)
Wraps and pouches made by a Wisconsin crafter. (Source: Animal Rescue Craft Guild of WI)
Nests created for Australian wildlife by a Wisconsin crafter. (Source:Animal Rescue Craft Guild of WI)
Joey pouches made by a local crafter.(Source: Animal Rescue Craft Guild of WI)