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From little things, big things sew

Sewing bee coordinator Fran Baldry, hard at work

With estimates of 1 billion animals, birds and reptiles perishing in the recent bushfires, the feeling of helplessness most of us feel is perhaps unsurprising. Just how can we begin to help when the problem seems so big?

Well one Sunshine Coast teacher knows that every little bit counts—especially when it comes to caring for orphaned and injured wildlife.

Fran Baldry, the Senior Home Economics teacher at Mountain Creek State High School, put her sewing—and organising—skills into immediate action, coordinating a sewing bee of 38 hard-working volunteers.

'During the holidays I sent an email to staff at the school, and posted my idea on Facebook to gauge interest,' Fran said.

'The response by staff, students and members of the school community was overwhelming.'

What started as an idea for a few students, quickly grew into a finely-tuned production line of volunteers tracing, cutting and sewing. Fabric was donated from a local business, volunteers and others community members.

Soon enough, the team had produced 168 pouches, 315 pouch liners, and 35 sets of koala mittens.

The pouches, liners and mittens must be made to particular specifications, with the type of fabric and stitches used important for the safety and health of their furry clientele.

Donated to Wildcare in Nerang and to Kangaroo Island via the Animal Rescue Collective Craft Guild, the pouches are now being used by injured and orphaned kangaroos and joeys, possums, gliders, bats and wombats, and the mittens by koalas with burnt paws.

And more pouches and mittens will soon be on their way, as home economics students continue the sewing bee’s work throughout the term.

Pouches will be sent to help injured and orphaned wildlife

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0) ( )
Last updated
09 March 2020