Mittens making life easy to bear

Shannon BeattiePilbara News
Marg Bertling, Tash Wheelock, Susannah Griffiths, Maggie Dorning and Vicki Birnie.
Camera IconMarg Bertling, Tash Wheelock, Susannah Griffiths, Maggie Dorning and Vicki Birnie. Credit: Shannon Beattie

Community members in Karratha and Wickham rallied together last week to help animals injured in the bush fires over east.

At least 25 women from across the two towns spent more than 12 hours donating material, cutting and sewing in order to make koala mittens, macropod pouches and bat wraps.

The call to help was put out on Facebook by Marg Bertling who said it’s something which she has done almost every bush fire season.

“We’ve got the capability and the skill set in the community to donate a bit of time and use some skills which aren’t used very often,” she said.

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“We had people dropping off material, picking up cut patterns to take them home to sew and just generally offering to help and every single little bit made a big difference.”

The group focused on making koala mittens as most of the time they can’t be used twice due to the risk of infection for the marsupials.

“None of what we’ve made and contributed will ever be wasted,” Ms Bertling said.

“If any of them don’t get used now, they’ll be distributed to wildlife carers who do this sort of work year round.”

Ms Bertling said she believes so many people rallied behind the cause because it helped them to feel like they were contributing.

“The images which have been coming out of the fires in Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia and utterly devastating,” Ms Bertling said.

“You can’t sit there and watch those animals on fire and not feel compelled to help the people that are trying to help them.”

If others in the community wish to help the suffering animals, but don’t know how to sew, funds can be donated via the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital’s GoFundMe page or via the WIRES, which is a NSW wildlife rescue and rehabilitation charity, emergency fund.

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