Locals knit crafts for displaced animals in Australia wildfires

NARBERTH, Pa. -- All it took was a little crafting to bridge the distance between the Philadelphia area and Australia.

Since 2019, wildfires have been tearing through the country, displacing many animals like kangaroos, koalas, possums and more.

These marsupials spend their early lives in their mothers' pouches. Unfortunately, many lost their caretakers during this disaster. Locals are hoping that their hand-sewn pouches will provide the care and comfort they need.

At a small table in the back corner of the crowded workshop on Narberth Avenue, three women knitted away. Melanie Tantillo was born in Melbourne, Australia, where her parents still live. Another local, Adina Silberstein, visits her family Down Under often. Thankfully, both assured that their relatives are safe. They reminisced on the beauty of the far-away country and were thrilled to see their neighbors lending a hand.

The Handwork Studio in Narberth is joining a coalition of thousands across the world who are creating and sending crafts with the Animal Rescue Craft Guild. In fact, so many crafts have been donated, the group has issued a pause until they can make room for more.

In the meantime, locals are knitting and stitching away whether or not they have prior experience. They hope to use this mission as an opportunity to look for local organizations that could benefit from similar donations.

It's just one initiative of The Handwork Studio, which also teaches kids fashion, robotics, woodworking and more. Although they are based in the Philadelphia area, they host a summer camp with more than 20 locations in 6 states.

To learn more, visit their website.

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