Students at Sullivan Foundation partner school Lees-McRae College, located in Banner Elk, N.C., took matters into their own hands this week to bring relief to those affected by Australian wildfires.
On Tuesday, Jan. 14, and Thursday, Jan. 16, 25 students, led by Director of Library Services Jess Bellemer, sewed 21 pouches for baby marsupials.
Held in the Dotti M. Shelton Learning Commons Makerspace—a dedicated space where students can design, craft, sew, podcast, and more—Bellemer guided students of all skill levels through the process.
“The goal of the makerspace is to connect students with making skills that they’ll take with them beyond their Lees-McRae experience,” Bellemer said. “The pouch-making workshops showed them how they can use a skill such as sewing to support victims in a terrible crisis on the other side of the world. I think learning to sew and making usable materials for animals in need really clicked with the students.”
With pouches now at the ready, the college will ship them to the Animal Rescue Collective Craft Guild (ARCCG), an organization dedicated to “creating, sewing, building, and designing for animal rescue.” The ARCCG Facebook group has over 230,000 members sewing pouches, knitting blankets, and crafting stuffed animals.
As of now, the ARCCG has placed a hold on accepting pouches due to the massive influx of those being made. Those interested in creating pouches or any other craft are encouraged to check the Animal Rescue Crafts Guild Facebook group for updates before shipping.