Australia sending aid to wildfire towns as death toll rises

Kangaroos graze in a field as smoke shrouds the Australian capital of Canberra, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 1.

The fires sweeping through Australia have destroyed an area larger than Denmark and killed more than a billion animals.

There are many ways to help. Crafters around the world are helping by making pouches for orphaned kangaroos, sweaters for kittens, boxes for possums and more. In Lancaster County, items can be dropped off at Wrap Up Project’s donation spots.

Wrap Up Project is a local group that leaves handmade scarves in public spots for those in need, no strings attached.

The group accepts donations of scarves and materials for the monthly local scarf-bombings. Angelia Reed, the woman in charge, decided to join the crafting for a cause in Australia.

"I can't be in Australia to help, but I can knit items," she says.

Reed and a group of volunteers have already set up donation locations and it made sense to use them for the Australian effort, she says.

Donations can be dropped off at Building Character, Finazzo’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria and The Speckled Sheep, all in Lancaster; Columbia Presbyterian Church in Columbia, Emerald Asset Management in Leola and Ewebiquitous in Lititz.

Animal Rescue Craft Guild is sharing what is needed for the animals in Australia on Facebook. Wednesday morning, the most-pressing need was for joey pouches, hanging pouches, animal beds and financial donations for supplies and postage. There are projects for knitters, crocheters and sewers. Patterns and sizes can be found online

Wrap Up Project’s next scarf-bombing will be tonight, Wednesday, Jan. 8. Volunteers will meet at Binns Park to leave handmade warm accessories. They will also bring items to Columbia Presbyterian Church.