I saw a lot on the news about the animals being killed and injured in the bush fires ... It just broke my heartTracy Bean
A GROUP of volunteers have been busy hitting the stitch for a cause very close to Australia's heart right now.
Using sewing machines set up at Spotlight Rutherford, volunteers have been sewing little mittens, pouches, nests and bat wings for animals injured in this month's horrifying bush fires.
The initiative started just two weeks ago after team members at the New England Highway store wanted to do something to do their part for injured animals.
In fact, the timing was perfect with Maitland resident Tracy Bean - who runs the Maitland Yarners - reaching out to the store.
Ms Bean said the devastating stories of hurt and orphaned animals coming out from across the state spurred her to contacted the store and together, they formed a plan.
"I got on Facebook and joined the Animals Craft Rescue Guild page. I saw a lot on the news about the animals being killed and injured in the bush fires ... it just broke my heart," she said.
"We've been making a lot of mittens, pouches and bat wings."
So far more than 100 people, coming as far as Sydney, have turned up at the Rutherford store to lend a hand for the injured and orphaned animals.
Ms Bean said the volunteers have already sewed "a couple of hundred" mittens, pouches and bat wings.
"On the first day we made over 20, and on the second day we made more than 40," she said.
"I posted on Facebook that Spotlight [Rutherford] was doing this and it just went from there. I've had people from overseas contact me, asking where they can send stuff. It gives you a good feeling. I personally feel the animals are so innocent, so if we don't help them then they are gone.
"We have such individual animals in Australia and they need to be cared for. They are going to need more of these for at least the next 12 months."
This year's devastating bush fires have already seen thousands of animals injured or driven from their habitats.
After being inundated with volunteers, Spotlight Rutherford planned to keep the sewing machines set up for the next few weeks.
For more information about the initiative or join the volunteer team, contact the store on 49321444.