East Texas woman sews rescue items for animals injured by Australian fires

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TYLER, Texas (KETK) – As Australia continues to burn with disastrous bushfires, a lot of good deeds have been coming from all over the world to support Australians.

One East Texas woman is doing her part and giving you a chance to help too.

Catastrophic fires have been burning in Australia for several months. Thousands of acres have been lost, many homes destroyed, 28 people have died, and more than a billion animals are dead. While the fire still burns, many other critters have been injured, burned, orphaned and left helpless in their most dire time of need.

Firefighters from the states recently traveled to Australia to help.

“There’s a lot of people that have been at it since September, October through November and stuff, so people are tired,” said one firefighter. “And so we’re here to actually relieve and try to lend a hand and give those folks the rest they direly need.”

While we can’t all physically help fight the ravaging fires, here at home, the Animal Rescue Collective Craft Guild is calling on people across the country to use their hands to help the displaced animals.

Connie Fleming, owner of Sew Craftie, a non-profit that benefits the East Texas SPCA, decided to answer that call.

“Currently, I am sewing some kangaroo and wallaby nighttime and daytime bags, 3D hanging bags for kangaroos and wallabies, I did some bat wraps and also some koala mittens, those are not needed as much right now is what I’ve read, so I’m going to send just what I’ve made of those,” said Fleming. “And then the pouches, the joey pouches, those are really needed right now.”

While she may possess the talent to sew, she says there is always room for others to help.

“I would make a few things and I’d post on the group and I’d have people ask me, well you know, how did you do that, how did you do this,” said Fleming. “And so I would kind of tell them some ways and I thought well, some people are more visual learners and that’s what I am.”

She created YouTube videos that help walk stitchers through how to make each needed item.

“It’s just amazing to me, how many people want to help and that there are still good people out in the world, a lot, a lot of good people, because you know, there’s so much bad stuff going on in the world right now,” said Fleming.

She believes Australia needs all the love we can give them right now, in the midst of a tragic fire season that was motivated by a drought year and people deliberately starting bushfires.

“Not only does it affect the animals and the people, it affects the vegetation, and the grass, and the trees, and all that and that’s stuff that we need to live,” said Fleming. “And then I also think about the air, they’re breathing all this stuff in and I just want to say that my heart goes out to them and I’m so sorry that they’re having to go through this.”

An offer of support and love from the other side of the world.

Now here’s how you can help! Fleming is in need of donations for shipping everything off to Australia as well as fabric and materials to make more pouches. They will be having a group sewing day on Saturday, January 18th. If you would like to help, please reach out to Fleming on her Facebook page, Sew Craftie!

Below is a handmade koala bear you can purchase to help.

Visit Fleming’s Facebook page, Sew Craftie, for more information on sizes and pricing.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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