Jan 10, 2020

Seniors and Families Across the Globe Are Knitting Pouches And Mittens For Injured Australian Wildlife

It is impossible to understate the devastating effects that bushfires have had on the Australian public and landscape.

Hardworking, everyday Australians have lost their lives, families have lost their homes, and the scorched earth that was once home to some of the planets most unique wildlife has become an animal graveyard of unfathomable proportions.

It is estimated that over half a billion animals have already lost their lives in the Australian infernos and many of the weird and wonderful creatures that have managed to survive are in dire need of help.

Images of badly burned koalas, kangaroos, birds, bats, and wombats have tugged at the heartstrings of people from all four corners of the globe, and many families led by seniors have picked up their woolen yarn and knitting needles to lend a hand.

Jill Arnoldy

Australian’s, Americans, Canadians, Asians, Europeans, and our friendly neighbours across the ditch in New Zealand have banded together to donate handcrafted woolen paw covers, pouches, wraps, and nests to assist injured Australian animals in their recovery.

These animals are in need of a variety of different items for both protection and comfort, and the warmth being provided by these woolen gifts is symbolic of the warmth and generosity being displayed by those involved.

Young wombats, wallabies, kangaroos, bandicoots, gliders, and possums that have lost their parents and siblings in the fires derive a feeling of comfort and safety in handmade woolen pouches.

And volunteers from across the globe have donated an outstandingly diverse range of colourful, handcrafted replica pouches, that will provide happiness to recovering wildlife.


Koalas, which are considered one of Australia’s most iconic and beloved animals, have been one of the biggest animal casualties of these horrific bushfires, with fears that the koala population may actually be rendered ‘functionally extinct.’

Fortunately, experts have since predicted that the koala population will survive, and those caring for injured koalas have been inundated with handcrafted mittens to cover the paws of koalas that have been burned in the fires.

Bird habitats have also been ravaged by this disaster, and there has been no shortage of beautifully crocheted bird nests arriving on Australian shores compliments of families and friends from other countries.

Parents have taken the opportunity to pass on their knitting, crocheting, and fabric crafting skills to their children, volunteering their precious time working as family teams to produce boxes full of items that are made with skill and love.

Seniors who often bear the brunt of discrimination regarding their abilities have led from the front, with years of hands-on crafting experience proving invaluable to the cause.

An Australian-based group called the Animal Rescue Craft Guild has amassed over 100,000 members in recent weeks, offering advice, tips, and approved patterns to ensure potential crafters are creating items that can be utilised.

While the Animal Rescue Collective group offers links on how to build possum boxes and transporters, which has inspired many older handymen to dust of their tools and create with purpose.


Although finding a silver lining in these dark clouds is proving to be difficult, tragedy on this scale has an uncanny ability to shift the public’s focus onto the things in life that truly matter.

Images of badly burned koalas clutching at humans in desperate need of help are a stark reminder that this planet does not belong to us, and that everyone and everything that shares this globe has a purpose and a right to feel safe.

One quick glance at the thousands of handcrafted items that have been willingly donated out of kindness actually feels like a glimmer of hope for a world that has started a new decade shrouded in negativity. 

And this outpouring of love for animals is the ultimate display of what humanity can, and should always strive to be.

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  1. Jakob, the reaction from people to try and do something, anything for our injured wildlife has been an amazing phenomena to see. That feeling of helplessness in the face of bushfire impact is profound.

    People who have never sewn before are buying sewing machines and going to work creating beautiful pouches with love, wonky stitches and a full heart; people who have never knitted or crocheted before are trying it too. Young and old alike are getting in to the swing of ‘wildlife warrior protectors’ and learning / sharing new skills. The awesomeness of the community at large coming together is the best way to say, Happy New Year, here’s how I can help. (for me, my 40 yr old sewing machine has been dusted off and going great guns on creating new items as are 160,000+ other people around the globe). People power does exist and when we truly want something to happen we are able to galvanise people – connecting hearts with their minds. A lesson for our industry at large.

    1. Beautifully said Sally, we can’t thank you enough for your kindness. People like you restore faith in the human spirit. All the best from the entire HelloCare team.

  2. This is such an outpouring of love and caring. It encompasses generations and has given so many a focus to simply do what they can to help with such a horrible atrocity to a country, its people and its beautiful, unique animals. Nothing could be more horrible than fire and heat and no place to go. Each day I watch the postings and simply cry for the losses Australia is experiencing. May God Bless you all and watch over all those trying to fight these blazes.

  3. There is a new Finnish facebook group : named : suomen käsityöläiset australian eläimien avuksi.- Finnish handicraft for helping the animals of Australia- the members of it are knitting , crocheting and sewing everything needed for the animals in Australia. The first transport leaves Finland at the end of January.
    Hope that cooler weather comes to Australia and the misery of people and animals will end.We are praying for Australia.
    Warmest regards form Finland
    Dr.Judit Mäkinen – member of the Finnish group.

  4. it feels good to send love and prayers — and to DO something! I help with wildlife rehab, syringe-feeding orphaned squirrels and chipmunks, picking up bear poop, cleaning and setting down their food, but no cuddling because the aim is to release them all back to the wild! We use knitted and crocheted nests for our baby birds. They just want to live! It’s winter here in Tahoe area, California, our off-season. I can’t sit fretting over politics. Glad to help. Cost to ship is the hard part. . . but we’ll manage.

    1. Hi Monica, check out the Animal Rescue Craft Guild Facebook Page. All patterns are there, under files tab. At present there’s a ‘hold’ on production as the hubs stocktake what they have before letting people know what is urgently needed. Patterns include knitting, sewing, crochet items. Lots of good information there. Thank you for wanting to contribute.

  5. I am a sewer & knitter, would love to help putting my skills to use if this is needed. Please let me know. Cheers Dianne


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