CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — As many people are posting and donating to help those affected by the worst bushfire season in Australia, closer to home one Rogue Valley woman is trying to weave a deeper connection to the animals affected in the country.
“It made me realize how much these animals do need help.”
Cassidy Janisch says she’s not much of a seamstress, but she’s always been an animal lover.
“I’ve always loved helping when there’s something like this where they’re people and animals like this that need help,” Janisch said.
The central point woman says when she saw video and stories of the bush fires burning in Australia and the millions of animals affected, she knew she had to do something.
“This person was driving through and they had like six or seven koalas in their car just on the seats and in the back and all over the place, they had nowhere to go, their trees had been burnt down it was a barren landscape,” Janisch said.
So with a borrowed sewing machine, Cassidy is teaching herself to sew. She will be sending her handmade items to a designating hub where thousands of west coast-made crafts will gather before they are shipped off to Australia. The west coast hub manager, Mary Davis says the response the group has seen is remarkable.
“We just got word that somebody has donated room on a private plane to get stuff to Australia, so we’re anticipating very large amounts to go over there very quickly,” Davis said.
While Cassidy’s still finding her stitch, she says she’s committed to her goal of helping the animals in need. She’s creating 5 outer pouches and 15 pouch liners to provide some comfort to the homeless animals.
“It’s not going as fast as I thought it would, it’s going to take me a while, but this is something I’m committed to. I need to do something to help and this is one way I can do that.”
Cassidy’s hoping her actions will inspire others in the valley to help these animals who can’t help themselves because there’s still more to do.
“I’d love it if something that I did inspire more people to help whether its donating fabric, donating money or even making something themselves,” Janisch said. “I think it would be great if more of our community stepped up to help.”
There are multiple crafting groups on facebook who are taking knitted, crocheted or sewn donations. You can visit the American Rescue Craft Guild on Facebook to learn more.