PHOTOS: Peel police do their part to help animals affected by wildfires in Australia

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It's safe to say that 2020 hasn't been great so far. Since Jan. 1, we've heard harrowing tales of destruction caused by the Australian wildfires, mourned the loss of dozens of Canadians who perished in a plane crash in Iran said goodbye to Kobe Bryant, a basketball superstar with a profound (albeit complicated) legacy.

While the news has been bleak, it looks like Peel Regional Police are making a difference by assisting local animal rescue group volunteers who are doing their part to help animals affected by the Australian wildfires. 

Peel police say a local Facebook page recently called on crafters to make pouches or 'hanging joey's', which are comprised of fabric sewn together in the shape of a 3D pouch.

"Patterns were printed off and the sewing began. Within 15 days, the site had over 11,000 followers all looking to help," Peel police said in a news release. 

Police say Renee Patenaude, a volunteer from Mississauga, collected all 839 pieces (nine boxes in total) that had been made by hand in under two weeks.

Each large baby kangaroo pouch takes approximately 60-90 minutes (depending on your skill level) and 50,000 stitches to complete.  

Police say the word soon spread and others become involved. Air Canada offered to send one shipment, but boxes quickly became five domestic shipments and one International shipment. 

Police say Air Canada covered all the fees, such as logistical costs and custom fees. 

Officers from Peel police's airport division decided to help Patenaude by offering to pick up all the boxes and bring them to the airport, which saved a lot of time and money. 

"I'm doing this because I should," Patenaude told Peel police.

"When there is a need to help people and the planet - we all should. It is not only important to our community - but to our global ecology."

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