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Lackawanna County Crafters Using Skills to Help Australian Animals

SCRANTON, Pa. -- Two women in Lackawanna County have joined forces to help animals displaced by the Australian wildfires.

Kristin Cianfichi of Scranton usually knits at night while watching television.

Lately, the video on the news showing the devastation in the Australian wildfires motivated her to turn her crafting into more than just a hobby.

"The images coming out of Australia were so tragic I couldn't really ignore them anymore, plus I have family there," she said.

Kristin turned to the internet to find patterns to knit and sew pouches for baby kangaroos, koalas, and wallabies orphaned by the fires.

That internet search found Christine Krizovich from Throop. She's also an avid crafter and animal lover. So, the women united forces.

"It's great to see you're not alone on that journey, and there is someone else to go and root each other on with, go do the right thing to help these animals, and to help the environment," Christine said.

Kristin and Christine met for the first time on Saturday and have already developed a pouch-making operation in Kristin's living room at her home on East Mountain.

"I'm in the process of knitting four sweaters right now, three for my daughters and one for myself. I'm taking a break, in fact, their sweaters were supposed to be their Christmas presents. But, I sent them an email recently saying it's delayed even further," Kristin said.

The pair call themselves the Healing Earth Crafters.

They say they'll keep making pouches as long as they're needed.

"Christine and I would like to take this group, have it continue after Australia is back on its feet. So, we can start working with wildlife centers in the area or pet shelters," Kristin added.

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