Help Us Help Australia

By Lisa Dicksteen and Shulamit Morris

In light of the unprecedented and devastating Australian wildfires, we are putting together a fundraiser on Australia Day (Sunday, January 26th) from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.

There will be tea and some yummy homemade Australian treats (lamington cakes, hummingbird cake, scones, and vegemite sandwiches), an Australia-themed trivia game, a raffle, a door prize, and a chance to meet some cool people and help a good cause. (If you want to bring food to share, vegetarian items only please. The food we prepare will be kosher (Chalav Israel).)

And we are inviting people to bring their sewing machines (or knitting needles or crochet hooks) to make some of the things needed by those caring for the animals injured by the fires.

We have patterns for bat wraps, joey pouches, and blankets for the sewers and koala mittens, bird’s nests, and sweaters for the knitters and crocheters. Whatever is completed that day will be shipped the next day.

If you don’t sew, but have fabric to donate, that would be appreciated as well. 100% cotton flannel/flannelette or other 100% natural fabric only, per the Animal Rescue Collective Craft Guild, which is where we will send the things we make.

Kangaroo Island has its own special ecosystem filled with unique and endangered species such as kangaroos, koalas, glossy black-cockatoos, dunnarts (mouse-sized marsupials), and rare green carpenter bees, among other wonderful animals and plants. Fully half the island has been burned already.

So, sewers and non-sewers alike are encouraged to attend a fun fund-raiser!

We are suggesting a minimum donation of $5.00, which will enter you into the drawing for a cool door prize.

100% of the funds raised will be sent directly to the Kangaroo Island Mayor’s Bushfire Appeal, which we know puts every penny they receive directly into helping animals injured and displaced by the wildfires.

The event will be held in Boulder near Baseline and Mohawk. We will send the exact address when you RSVP to shulamitmirim@gmail.com.

If you can’t make it, you can still make a donation at Kangaroo Island Mayor’s Bushfire Appeal.

Here are some estimates of the losses throughout Australia so far:
• Over 12 million acres are still on fire.
• Ecosystems of a billion mammals, birds, and reptiles wiped out.
• 50% of koalas killed, making them a potentially endangered species.
• 100,000 livestock (mostly cows and sheep) killed.
• Mass evacuations with loss of homes and livelihood.
• Air quality among the worst in the world affecting 1/2 the population.
• 27 people killed, including four brave firemen.

And here are some links to coverage of this disaster and how the world is coming together to help:
• Kangaroo Island: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/gallery/2020/jan/08/scorched-earth-the-bushfire-devastation-on-kangaroo-island-in-pictures
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/04/ecologists-warn-silent-death-australia-bushfires-endangered-species-extinction
https://www.reuters.com/video/watch/idOVBVLIZCB
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-australia-bushfires-smoke/australias-bushfires-make-massive-clouds-of-pollution-idUSKBN1Z9150
https://graphics.reuters.com/AUSTRALIA-BUSHFIRES-SMOK/0100B4W52R7/index.html

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