With more than 100 fires still burning, Australia continues to battle a catastrophic crisis that has impacted not only the country’s residents, but also its vast and varied wildlife. While reading the headlines can feel overwhelming, hope—and help—comes through actions big and small. Claire Forshaw, a stay-at-home Mom living in Germany, is using her knitting and crocheting skills to lend a hand.
Claire has been hand-making nests for birds, wraps for bats, mittens for koalas, even joey pouches for baby kangaroos, in order to help meet the demand for these items in Australian animal rescue efforts. Claire started this project after discovering The Animal Rescue Collective Craft Guild (ARCCG), a volunteer-run online community of over 178,000 people, dedicated to connecting artists all over the globe and using their skills to do good. “Being a crocheter who enjoys creating things to help the planet, I was immediately interested,” Claire says. “I knew I had to help.”
Along with her fellow ARCCG volunteer artists and artisans, Claire has already made a visible impact on Australia’s animal rescue efforts. Photos from the ARCCG’s Instagram account show the requested nests, blankets, wraps, and mittens helping all kinds of animals, from koalas and kangaroos to bats and birds. “It is amazing being part of this group,” she says, “seeing all these people from all over the world coming together to help a country, and its wildlife, in its time of need.”
Through her work with the ARCCG, Claire hopes to not only lend a hand with her skills as an artist, but also to inspire others around the world to do the same. “I would definitely recommend that people join The Animal Rescue Craft Guild and get inspired,” she says. “Create alone or with your family, or get together as a community or school and get to crafting! They will always be looking for more [items to help animals], even after these fires are out.”