Rancho Buena Vista High School senior, Rachel Ratelle, 18, was so compelled by the images she saw of the Australian wildfires-- she took up a new hobby to help.
“I did not know how to sew at all. It was a bit of a process in the beginning,” laughed Ratelle.
With the help of her parents, Ratelle, purchased a sewing machine to create pouches for orphaned animals devasted from the Australia wildfires.
“I just really wanted to do something to help because I love nature and I love animals and it was just too heartbreaking to watch ---but I didn’t want to do something as simple as clicking a button or clicking a link to donate money. I wanted to do something that would directly benefit the animals and so that’s when I was inspired by the idea of sewing some pouches and resources for the orphaned animals,” said Ratelle.
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With the help of YouTube and online sewing templates from FAWNA Australia, the organization she helped, she created 25 pouches to benefit animals like koalas and kangaroos.
Shortly after, she received a photo in the mail from FAWNA Australia --- showing her pouches being used by a kangaroo in Australia, leading to an emotional moment for her and her mom.
“I’m starting to cry, then I’m balling and then she’s crying. It was such a gratifying and fruitful moment, just to see you contributed. I contributed to the world and helped these animals in some way,” said Ratelle.
And, she’s not done sewing or helping those in need, Ratelle reached out to FAWNA Australia to see if they needed any more help and is also considering helping other animals, like dogs, in devastated areas affected by natural disasters.
“I just think it’s kind of cool how you can make something and then somebody can wear it and use it after you created it,” said Ratelle.