January 2020 – Joey Pouches for Grit & Grace Wildlife Rehab

In September of 2019, bushfires began to spread in parts of Australia that quickly became international news. Soon the country was in crisis in terms of the land that had been burned and the many issues it caused both people and animals. To help the animals in particular, a group popped up on Facebook called Relief Crafters of America. The group quickly grew and people all over the country started making and sending things to animal rescues to help (people all over the world also began to do this, and compassionate making was suddenly everywhere – it was wonderful!) the many injured animals the fires affected.

While our space didn’t really have the capacity to “mobilize” so quickly as to make items for Australia, the group morphed into one that plans and executes large scale make-to-give projects on an ongoing basis (they are still active today), so I kept an eye on them for an opportunity we could participate in. Many in the group had familiarized themselves with patterns for hanging bags called Joey Pouches (for orphaned kangaroos), and it turned out many animals, marsupial and otherwise, benefit from having such a place to rest and feel safe. That includes many animals who live in the US, so when I discovered we could make pouches for an organization in Kentucky called Grit & Grace Wildlife Rehabilitation via the Relief Crafters of America group (they post projects all over the country and people sign up to contribute to one or more). The pattern (also provided by the group) was a fun challenge for students and certainly advanced their skills. 7 students participated (slow January, as usual), and we ended up shipping several pouches to the nonprofit.

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