Jude Caswell shows off some bat wraps, a small blanket with an attached pillow that caregivers can wrap the bats in. (Contributed)

Shuswap family craft way to help animals affected by Australian bush fires

Mother and son use their sewing abilities to craft pouches and blankets

A Shuswap family is joining forces with thousands of arts and crafts enthusiasts to help animals affected by the fires in Australia.

Upon hearing the devastating news of the fires that have destroyed more than 1,700 homes and reportedly killed millions of wild animals, Jessica Caswell of Salmon Arm knew she couldn’t sit idly by. Inspired by several Facebook groups, she enlisted the help of her son and started making custom textiles for animals affected by the fires.

Read more: Canadian basketball star Kia Nurse donating to Australia wildfire relief efforts

Read more: ‘Millions of sparks’: Weather raises Australia’s fire danger

Among these animal garments are bat wraps, a small blanket with an attached pillow that caregivers can wrap the bats in, nests for now homeless birds and different sizes of pouches for marsupials of various ages.

Together the mother and son duo have made 10 items in just a few days. The crafts are sent to a hub before being distributed to various wildlife centres and camps.

“Seeing the news, it’s heartbreaking what’s happening there,” Caswell said, her voice cracking with emotion. “We’re big animal fans in our house so we just thought, anything we can do to help.”

To be a part of their mission, the pair is looking for donations of materials or assistance with shipping costs. Caswell can be contacted at jessica_caswell@hotmail.ca. Donations of cotton, flannel, needles and thread are being accepted at Parkview Elementary and can be dropped off in Mrs. Vlieg’s classroom.

Read more: Canada sends two more groups to Australia to help fight wildfires

Read more: B.C. company sends helicopters to Chile, Australia to fight wildfires

Jessica and her son Jude are far from alone in their humanitarian crafting endeavours. The Canadian Animal Rescue Craft group on Facebook has more than 4,500 members who share patterns and advice on how to create various crafts for animals. The Animal Rescue Craft Guild, a worldwide Facebook group with similar goals has nearly 125,000 members.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Jude Caswell and his mother Jessica Caswell show off pouches they made together to help animals affected by fires in Australia. (Contributed)

Just Posted

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Shuswap First Nations landmark project gets $10,000 boost

The funds received from the Heritage Legacy Fund will assist research and design of the project.

Opening night lineup for online Roots & Blues festival released

The first night of the festival on Aug. 14 will be stacked with favourites from previous years

Video: Enraged man terrifies staff and customers at Blind Bay restaurant

Video on Facebook shows the man hurling profanity at workers during the dinner rush on Aug. 7.

EDITORIAL: Managing wildfires

Wildfires have the potential to cause significant damage within our province

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Local state of emergency declared near Okanagan home

Slope failure cited as City of Penticton issues notice at home in 600 block of Heather Road

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

Therapeutic art for sale at Okanagan show

17th annual Awakening the Spirit Art Show and Sale presented by Vernon Canadian Mental Health Assoc.

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Tech mogul growing North Okanagan’s wine industry

The founder of online dating site Plenty of Fish is developing 900 acres in Vernon

Fentanyl-laced powder being sold as cocaine in Kamloops

Interior Health has released a warning about very strong fentanyl in Kamloops

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

North Okanagan ranch needs support to stay afloat

Founded in 1867, a fundraiser has been launched for the Historic O’Keefe Ranch

Most Read