The world watched in horror as wildfires burned more than 42,000 square miles in Australia last year. More than 30 people died, and there are estimates that as many as 1.25 billion animals may have perished.
Watching from Celina, Ohio, friends Sabraim Loll and Brittany Snyder knew they had to do something. After seeing pictures of injured koalas and kangaroos, they got the idea to use their sewing skills to help the baby kangaroos (joeys) that were left homeless from the wildfires.
The women decided to make joey pouches that could serve as substitutes for the pouches (marsupium) of female kangaroos. Joeys spend the first nine months of their lives securely in their mother’s pouch.
The pair embarked on their pouch-making project by enlisting the help of colleagues at Celina Tent where Loll works and Snyder worked at one time. Then they broadened their outreach by setting up shop at the Celina Church of the Nazarene and inviting the public to help out.
The volunteers were provided sewing guidelines to ensure the pouches were safe and secure for the joeys. For example, the inside needed to be smooth so that the young animals’ claws don’t get tangled in the fabric.
Loll and Snyder’s goal was to make 500 pouches, which were sent to Australia through the American Rescue Collective Craft Guild. Leftover fabric was used to make beds for local animal shelters. For more information, go to www.celinatent.com.