A Crestview woman, Samantha Sunthorn, who founded the group, said she will send all of the donations for Okaloosa County to Tennessee, where they will be sent to Australia.

CRESTVIEW — Heartbroken by the tragic wildfires, a woman hopes to send crocheted blankets, pouches and other types of materials to animal rescues in Australia.


Crestview’s Nikki Justice, who has a cousin living in Australia, said the wildfires are changing the environment for many of these animals.


As the fires continue, the need for these supplies will be ongoing. It is already estimated there were over 1 billion animals killed because of the fires, according to USA Today.


‘Not safe to move’: Fire threats intensify in Australia


So, Justice decided she wanted to help. She said crocheting has always been a way for her to give back. She hopes to crochet as many materials for the rescues as she can.


“They’ve been talking about how painful it is for these animals and how the treatment is going to be long term,” Justice said.


Before the tragic fires, she saw her cousin’s photos from Australia, and now the places in the pictures may no longer exist, she said.


Australia’s hellish wildfires imperil thousands and renew focus on climate change


Justice joined a Facebook group called the Okaloosa County sub hub for American Rescue Crafters. The group uses a system of mailing to get supplies sent to Australia.


A Crestview woman, Samantha Sunthorn, who founded the group, said she will send all of the donations for Okaloosa County to Tennessee, where they will be sent to Australia.


Sunthorn created the Okaloosa sub hub on Friday, but members are already posting pictures of their crocheted creations.


'Millions of sparks': Weather raises Australia's fire danger


Sunthorn and Justice aren’t alone in hoping to save the planet. There are already 14 members who have joined the page.


“We’re all one world,” Sunthorn said. “Why wouldn’t you want to help?”


Sunthorn said she hopes to send around 500 of the donated materials to Tennessee. The group is knitting a variety of materials.


World’s largest volunteer force fights Australia’s wildfires


But, the most in-demand items are joey pouches, hanging pouches and animal beds. Sunthorn said the hanging pouches can be used to carry joeys and wombats.


Sunthorn said she plans to send the first package of materials by Feb. 8.


“America cares,” she said. “People care.”


PHOTOS: Wildfires rage across Australia


Sunthorn, who learned how to crochet from her grandma 15 years ago, said helping these animals is rewarding.


She hopes to create awareness about the group to the community.


“We can fix this,” she said.