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Purling for a purpose

February 14, 2020 by Kayla Houp

Volunteers worldwide have put their needles to thread and their hooks to yarn to sew, knit, and crochet pouches, blankets, and more for the injured and orphaned animals displaced by the Australian bushfires.
Those endeavors have found their way to the Northwoods through the efforts of local knitters, crocheters, and sewers, including area substitute teacher Marlene Learman.
An avid animal lover and crafter, Learman became aware of the efforts of the Animal Rescue Craft Guild of Wisconsin and knew she had to get involved.
The guild’s efforts to craft items for animals in need range from a swift response to the need for items for animals affected by the Australian wildfires to local animal shelters.
“After I looked through everything, I thought, this is really good and wow, I think I know a lot of people here that I think could get involved in the area,” Learman said.
Similar craft guilds to the Animal Rescue Craft Guild of Wisconsin can be found nationwide and internationally, primarily on Facebook.
The groups have dedicated their to assisting relief efforts locally, regionally, and globally through crocheting, knitting and sewing. Crafted items can be transported to hubs, where they are then transported to areas in need.
From getting in contact with local groups and friends who quilt and craft to putting her needles to yarn, Learman had heard of several people locally who were getting involved, including a quilters group with the Ascension Lutheran Church in Minocqua.
“When you see this devastation, you think, well I can’t do anything to help, but we can. One person at a time,” Learman said. “Even if you make one bag, that could be a little koala or a joey that is feeling good because of the bag that you made so they can be comfortable.” 
Whether someone knits, crochets, sews, or wants to donate funds to relief efforts, Learman said any contribution would be helpful.
“Everything you need to know about them is online, and if people have trouble getting it or understanding it, they can certainly message me on Facebook and I’d be happy to help them out any way I can,” Learman said.
Those wishing to get involved should go to the Animal Rescue Craft Guild of Wisconsin’s Facebook page for more information on how to get involved, what items are currently being accepted, and where relief efforts are being concentrated.
“If you can help, help. That’s all I can say,” Learman said. “... It’s good to help any time you can.”
Kayla Houp may be reached via email at [email protected].

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