Busy hands are helping

By Olivia Duffey

The toll the bushfire crisis is taking on the animal kingdom is not lost on district locals who want to do their bit to support affected communities.

A number of local appeals have emerged, where items are being handmade to donate to wildlife organisations.

A handful of ladies sewed and knitted more than 40 pouches in a working bee on Tuesday.

It brings the Edward River Sustainability Group’s donation to 100 pouches so far, with more to be added at a second working bee this Sunday.

All items will be donated to the Animal Rescue Craft Guild, and distributed to wildlife carers.

Sustainability Group president Sonya Robinson said the local and national support for this project is incredible, and something to be proud of.

‘‘Everything made and donated to the group gets distributed to wildlife carers who are currently swamped with injured wildlife and other animals, particularly from the bushfires in New South Wales and Victoria,’’ she said.

‘‘It is fantastic to see so many people doing what they can to support this, from making the pouches and nests to donating supplies or even helping get the items to the Animal Rescue Collective hub.

‘‘Not everyone can help fight fires, help communities or even do too much hands on, so this gives some of us the opportunity to still help and make a difference.

‘‘I invite anyone interested to join us. See our Facebook group for more information.’’

Miss Robinson said making the pouches is only one part of the challenge, and the group needs help to get its donations to the Animal Rescue Collective.

‘‘The biggest challenge is overcoming postage costs,’’ Miss Robinson said.

‘‘We are hoping the community might help us by donating money to cover these postage costs so we can get these pouches to animals in need as soon as possible.

‘‘We also need more material, especially cotton and flannel, so if you have any capacity to donate, we ask that you might consider helping us.’’

Deniliquin’s Karen Martin and her friends have also been making mass amounts of pouches, mittens, nests, bags and bat wraps for the cause.

They are also making cooling neckties for emergency services.

‘‘I saw a call out for cooling neckties and I really wanted to do more to support our local emergency services,’’ she said.

‘‘So I have had local friends give me a hand to create them, specifically for our local guys and girls.

‘‘They will be donated to various local emergency organisations, with a batch to go to the Mid Murray Fire Control Centre immediately to assist our local brigades and members who are heading to the fire front on regular deployments.”

The group of friends has also been busy making about 110 mittens for koalas, 50 bat wraps and countless pouches so far.

‘‘I care and I can sew, and although I am not the best they need a hand. You have to help,’’ Mrs Martin said.

‘‘I think a small effort can make a big difference.’’

Sunday’s sewing bee will be held at the Intereach Neighborhood Centre in Trickett St, Deniliquin from 1pm. Entry is via the car park.