Kansas students helping Australian baby Kangaroos and Wallabies

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ANDOVER, Kan. (KSNW) – Animals in Australia are getting a helping hand from Family and Consumer Science students at Andover Middle School.

The sixth through eighth grade classes are spending their sewing class time to make pouches and wraps for animals who have been displaced by bushfires in Australia.

The school started working with an organization in Australia to determine which animals they could help.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 23: Joeys rescued after the recent bushfires are seen at the home of carer Annie Williams on April 23, 2009 in Gisborne, Australia. Whilst the state of Victoria does not allow commercial hunting, Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia do permit such. Hunters are instucted to kill any joeys by decapitation, shooting or clubbing. The controversial practice has been brought to the forefront due to the opening up of vast parts of NSW to commercial shooters. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

“They have a list of the ones that are in higher need, so we are trying to work on those, which are mostly the really large pouches,” said Sally Renoux, Family and Consumer Science Teacher.

The students are focusing on items for joeys, wallabies, and even microbats.

“They need the pouch to assimilate being in their mother’s pouch,” said Renoux. “We are also making wraps for bats, and it basically looks kind of like a beach blanket, it’s kind of stuffed on the end and they lay the bat on that and then wrap the rest of the fabric around them.”

One student says the moment she learned of the fires, she immediately started to research how she could help.

“It felt heartwarming, I was really excited because I really wanted to help these animals,” said Tumani Anderson, seventh grade student. “I felt really sad for the animals, so I was just thinking about figuring out a way to help them and then when she told us about the project we were doing, I was really happy about it. ”

Their teacher says the students were surprised there was something they could do, but they jumped at the opportunity. One class even made a selfless choice just so they could help.

“Sixth grade class is limited in nine weeks and they readily gave up making their own individual projects,” said Renoux. “They said, ‘No this is important, this will be fun, let’s go ahead and help these animals out instead of making our own.'”

The school says they are still accepting donations until Tuesday, Jan. 14. They ask that any material that is going to be donated is either 100% cotton, or they can also use silk.

The school intends to ship out the finished items by the end of the week. If there is still a need for sewn items in Australia, the students will continue to participate in the project.

For information on how you can help, click here.


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