SETAUKET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — It’s estimated more than a billion animals have died since September because of the wildfires that are ravaging Australia.

Now, children are stepping up to help the animals still trying to survive.

Inside a classroom at Setauket Elementary School on Long Island, all eyes were on 11-year-old Lily Rosengard as she explained to her sixth grade class how to make what’s called a “Joey pouch.”

Lily is spearheading a pouch project to help save the lives of millions of orphaned Australian marsupials, like kangaroos, whose parents died in the devastating wildfires that continue to spread the continent.

“I felt really horrible about all of these animals and how they were dying and I wanted to find a way to help,” she said.

Each pouch replicates the natural ones marsupial mothers have. Without them, infants can’t survive.

This photo taken on January 9, 2020 shows volunteer Sarah Price of wildlife rescue group WIRES, who are working to save and rehabilitate animals from the months-long bushfire disaster, taking care of a rescued kangaroo at her house on the outskirts of Sydney. The fires — common during the summer seasons but growing with intensity and frequency as a result of climate change — are wiping out huge swathes of habitats in national parks and the bush for animals already weakened from a prolonged drought. (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

“So we’re using cotton and fleece and flannel to be soft on their skin,” Lily said.

Lily is getting her whole class to help out.

“I think it’s a really great way to help animals and I think it’s innovative of her,” classmate Charleigh Serna said.

“There are really good children out there in the world and we see our future leaders right in front of our eyes, which is wonderful,” said STEM teacher Gina Varacchi.

Kids all across America are lending a helping hand to the animals in Australia.

A 6-year-old who lives in the Boston area is hand-making little koalas out of clay. He says anyone who makes a donation can receive a koala. He has already raised $1,200.

“We can help the fires and help the animals,” he said. “Because helping animals is better than watching TV.”

Though they are little, these kids know the big impact of the wildfires and are not willing to quit until the end.

Inside a classroom at Setauket Elementary School on Long Island, all eyes were on 11-year-old Lily Rosengard as she explained to her sixth grade class how to make what’s called a “Joey pouch.” (Credit: CBS2)

“I want to make as many [pouches] as possible and I just want to make them until the fires can stop,” Lily said.

No matter the distance or age, they’re here to help.

Lily’s school and community are supplying the fabric and materials for the pouches. On Friday, the school will be hosting an assembly to get more kids involved.

If you would like to help, you can find more information here: www.wires.org.au

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