Sewing to save the orphans

Posted by
On August 4, 2020

Laurie sits on her couch with a sewing machine on the coffee table

When bush fires in 2019 and early 2020 ravaged Australia and killed an estimated 1 billion animals, rescuers kept orphaned kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, bandicoots and other animals comfortable in pouches, wraps and nests handmade by crafters from around the world. 

Laurie Gilson, a student in mechanical and metallurgical engineering at S&T, joined the effort. She organized an assembly-line approach to sew pouches for animals and wraps for bats and to crochet nests as homes for birds through Relief Crafters of America.


Portrait of Laurie sitting on her couch with a sewing machine on a coffee table in front of her.

“I sent a big donation to Australia, then thought, ‘Wait a minute, they need help right in my backyard.’”


Gilson’s outreach to animals isn’t limited to those half a world away. She also helps animals close to home, crafting items for Lakeside Nature Center in Kansas City, Mo.

“I sent a big donation to Australia, then thought, ‘Wait a minute,’” Gilson says. “They need help right in my backyard.”

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On August 4, 2020. Posted in 2020, Around the Puck, News, Summer 2020

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