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

Salmon Arm’s Natalie Wilkie earns bronze in world cup competition

Shuswap talent posts third-fastest qualification time for event

AIM Roads to focus on clearing compact snow and slush, enable roads to drain

Snow accumulation exceeds 10-year records in Malakwa, Enderby, Squilax

Warm temperatures close Shuswap outdoor skating rinks

Rinks had been open only a few days when weather changed

January brings record snowfall to Shuswap’s Larch Hills

Up to 800 downed trees removed so far from cross-country ski trails

Break in a “poke in the eye” to Shuswap ski club

Larch Hills Nordics looking at security improvements for chalet

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Summerland taxes expected to rise by 4.0%

Increase to add an estimated $77.73 to typical tax bill

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Tourism visits to the Thompson/Okanagan up 18 per cent year-over-year

In 2019, almost 11.4 million people spent at least one night visiting the region

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Kelowna International Airport to help ease people with autism into flying

The tour will take families through the entire pre-flight process

Most Read