Local Australian Red Cross members are hoping to put a smile on the faces of children affected by the devastating bushfires.

The Australian Red Cross Woodend branch members and volunteers have been knitting up
a storm, creating trauma teddy bears. Branch volunteer Robyn Grant said they were inspired to help after experiencing first-hand how traumatic the fires had been to families.

“We had what we call active personnel who were involved in the evacuation of Mallacoota,” she said.

“Teddies are such a comfort to children who probably only had to their name a t-shirt and a pair of shorts.

“Having something of your own to snuggle is comforting.”

Ms Grant put a call out on Facebook earlier this month for volunteers to help create the
teddies. She said the community response was “mind blowing”. More than 350 teddies were knitted
at a workshop last Monday.

“We didn’t know if we were going to get 35 or 100 people. We got about … 200 plus people,”
Ms Grant said.

“A lot of people said to me ‘I’ve already donated but I want to do something.’

“People want to physically help and they can’t. This is something that can actually do and they know where it is going and why it’s going and the affect it will have and it’s very important.”

Australian Red Cross members make trauma teddies throughout the year, sending them to children in difficult times. To make a trauma teddy, visit: bit.ly/2FzMoGN