Mittens for koalas and more
Isn’t this just one of the saddest images you’ve ever seen?
Although at first glance it kind of looks like a koala having a relaxing pedicure in a day spa, it’s actually a photo I saw here (photo by Amwrro.org.au, where it seems the story first appeared). The bushfires that cause so much destruction every summer in Australia really take their toll on our native wildlife too, and so many animals suffer for months after the fires due to loss of habitat and food sources – that is, if they survive terrible burns. This koala, Jeremy, got all four of his paws burnt trying to escape the fires in Sampson Flat, South Australia, but is apparently recovering well at a wildlife clinic. There are so many more animals that still need help, though, so I was glad to see there’s a way the crafting community can do their bit – namely, by making mittens to protect paws while they heal.
I was glad to be able to help a bit just by doing something I enjoy (ie sewing) AND it also meant I could clean out a tiny percentage of my fabric stash (BIG bonus). As the mittens required a piece of wool to be sewn on the edge so that they can be fastened around the animal’s leg, Coraline (foster cat number 2) decided to get involved too, by testing the wool’s tensile strength and softness (aka she ran around with it in her mouth in between throwing it up in the air and chasing it like a psycho).
Sewing mittens for koalas is admittedly not glamorous and not exactly the stuff that fashion blogs are made of, but then again this blog is not about glamorous fashion, as you’ve undoubtedly realised! I didn’t make any new year’s resolutions this year, but this episode has made me think maybe I’ll try to do a charity sewing/craft project every month. There are always animals/people who can do with clothes/blankets/mittens… so let me know if you hear of a worthy cause and I will add it to my list. By the way, it seems the IFAW have enough mittens but still need pouch liners for possums, kangaroos, wallabies and other marsupials, so click here if you’d like to use up some old sheets and do your bit for Australian wildlife. You don’t even need to be particularly good at sewing for these projects – in fact you don’t even need a sewing machine – so why not give it a go?
UPDATE: apparently the mittens were never requested by the wildlife shelters!! Read this for more information – if you’ve already made mittens, they will still accept them, but it seems donations and other items are more appropriate.