Friday was an emotional rollercoaster of a day for striking forestry workers on the North Island.
More than 200 families between Port McNeill, Port Hardy, Port Alice, Holberg and Woss received much-needed food and household items thanks to a Facebook page called North & South VI Logging Communities United.
Tamara Meggitt and her friend Rona Doucette are the ones behind the social media account, and they held a food drive and raised $5,000 to help out families in need during the United Steel Workers Local 1-1937 forestry strike. The strike has been ongoing since July 1 and has affected 3,000 people and their families with no end in sight, as the union recently turned down Western Forest Products offer for binding arbitration.
Approximately $3,000 worth of groceries and fresh produce arrived bright and early Friday morning in Port McNeill by horse trailer, with Meggitt noting the trailer weighed approximately “4,000 lbs, plus all the fresh produce we picked up from the IGA here.”
She said the group’s fundraising efforts took about a month to put this whole thing together, and it was primarily from “food drives and events at local pubs — so it’s been steady.”
Meggitt added she’s a firm believer that “people need to look after people, and when hardworking men and women go hungry that is wrong, that is just wrong.”
The North & South VI Logging Communities United Facebook page released a statement after delivering the food:
“The messages we’ve both been receiving today from people north & south of us has left us in tears but happy tears!” read the post on the group’s social media page. “We need to give a few shout outs to the following people though! To North Coast Trail Shuttle & Cape Scott Water Taxi for your generous donation of $100! To North Vancouver Island Logging Golf Committee for your generous donation of $200! And finally to Brian Texmo of Texmo Electric for your generous donation of $500!
“Tamara was taken by surprise when she received these donations today as it was totally unexpected! Thank you Bill Gray for your efforts in collecting those donations. We can not thank you all enough for your generosity & kindness! You guys totally rock! Finally, to Lee Cyr & her cousin Bonnie Cyr who came up to both of us in Woss & gave us cash for the families! We can’t thank the both of you enough!
“Definitely feeling the love today!”