Wilmington non-profit crafts animal pouches for those impacted by Australian bushfires


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Australian bushfires have been burning for months, claiming the homes and lives of residents of the continent, including the animals. One woman is teaming up with a local non-profit to help animals who have been affected.

Kelsey Kelly is passionate about the environment and helping animals. Naturally, she is devastated to hear about the damages in Australia.

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She was eager to help, but not sure how.

“I was like ‘what can I possibly do about this?’ I don’t have a lot of money, so donating $500,000 like other people was just not an option,” Kelly said.

She came across a group called the Animal Rescue Collective Craft Guild.

The group creates animal pouches that simulate a mother’s pouch, animal beds or other places animals would feel safe.

The more she looked into it, the more she realized she could help in this way.

With previous experience in sewing and step-by-step instructions from the group, Kelly decided to get to work.

“I started posting about it on social media,” Kelly said. “Trying to get some other people involved.”

That’s where Plastic Ocean Project came in.

Executive Director Bonnie Monteleone contacted Kelly, asking how she and POP could help.

On Sunday afternoon, the POP headquarters was filled with volunteers cutting fabric and manning the sewing machines.

Kelly says without Monteleone and POP, helping on this level wouldn’t have been possible.

“The way I see it, it’s not just Australia,” Kelly said. “It’s a global problem because even though I’m in America, they’re still my brothers and sisters.”

Kelly says she looks forward to even more events like this in the future.