Shorians Support Australian Wildfire Relief Efforts


Isabella Papadhima

Riley Kettelhut, one of Todaro’s students, showing how the kangaroo pouches were made.

Isabella Papadhima, Senior Editor

As most people around the world were celebrating the end of 2019, Australians ended the decade and brought in the new one with their forests set ablaze. The heat and dry weather mixed with high winds contributed to the spread of the fires across Australia. Naturally, thousands of homes burned down and millions of animals lost their habitats so the country was in dire need of aid and contributions to recover. As always, the Lake Shore family was ready to lend a helping hand.

The foreign language department and Melissa Todaro, who teaches interior design and applied art classes, worked with their classes to contribute to Australian wildfire relief.

To help raise money for the cause, the Spanish, German, and Mandarin students typed out fortunes in the language they’re learning and stuffed them into fortune cookies to sell at lunch (two cookies for $1). Students could either choose to buy a bag of treats for themselves or for another student in which they were delivered to them on Friday. In total, the classes were able to raise $320 in just one short week. 

On the other hand, Todaro’s classes decided to tackle something new and sewed pouches to donate.

One of Todaro’s interior design students, Bailey Price, explains, “We sewed pouches for kangaroo and koala joeys, all different sizes, and shipped them directly to Australia on a private cargo plane.” Along with helping the animals and learning how to sew in the process, Todaro’s students also wrote thank you letters for the first responders and firefighters helping the animals and anyone near the fires.

With all of Todaro’s classes combined, they sewed a massive total of 102 pouches. 

Interior design student, Rylie Kettelhut, says, “It was honestly a great experience. It’s always nice to be apart of something especially when it can really help a cause. Before we made the pouches I had no idea how to sew, so it was a learning experience as well as a chance to give back to those who need it.”

The Australian wildfires were truly a tragedy and showed how drastic the affects of climate change can be. Luckily, the Lake Shore family was ready to do their part and contribute to the recovery of of this natural disaster.