In the midst of the devastating 2019 Australian bush fires, over 30 humans and an estimated one billion wildlife perished; many who survived suffered injuries and grieved the loss of their loved ones and their homes. It is during such sorrowful calamities that the generosity, warm-heartedness and compassion of people shine brightly through their caring acts for the most vulnerable. One dedicated organization working to support animal rescuers and caregivers by aligning them with resources to rescue, nurse, protect, and provide medical care to animals in need is the Animal Rescue Cooperative (ARC). The ARC, whose mission is to save animals by working in collaboration with care sectors, later founded the Craft Guild, a global community of creative individuals who lovingly hand-craft supportive products for the misfortunate animals.
The Craft Guild makes custom craft items to support the special needs of each animal. They serve as a vital lifeline during disasters as well as throughout the year, for animals who are injured, orphaned, have lost their homes, or otherwise in need. They work indiscriminately, and the animals who have benefitted include koalas, bats, kangaroos, wallabies, possums, birds, cats, dogs, and even penguins.
Upon hearing about their caring altruistic work, Supreme Master Ching Hai gratefully presented the Animal Rescue Cooperative Craft Guild the Shining World Compassion Award plus a contribution of US$15,000, in loving support. “Dear Carers (and Allison), It is with great admiration and gratitude that we present to the Animal Rescue Cooperative Craft Guild the Shining World Compassion Award for using your talent to assist wildlife affected during bush fires. This award is presented in recognition of your carrying altruism venturing to remote areas to bring joy to injured wildlife. Your benevolence heralds a new era of empathy, nurturing a kinder home for all Earth’s co-inhabitants. May the Divine forever shield you and those assisting with your kind work. With great honor, love and blessings in God's grace, Supreme Master Ching Hai.”