You’d be hard pressed these days to find someone who isn’t either directly effected or knows someone effected by the current struggles in the forestry industry.
Unionized workers with Western Forest Products have been on strike since Canada Day, and many other forestry operations and contractors are undergoing curtailments and closures across the Island.
Campbell River’s Valerie McCulloch isn’t in the forestry industry herself, nor is her family, but she was raised here on the North Island, and knows how important the industry is to so many.
“Many of the people that have been effected by this strike are friends and family and forestry fed our family while I was growing up,” she says. “After six months on strike I can’t even comprehend the devastation these families are going through and felt it was time to get involved and try and help. No family should have to endure this let alone at Christmas time. The losses these families face will not easily be recouped.
“At this point in the strike, it really doesn’t matter whether we know these families or not. They need our help. If my family was going through this I would want everyone stepping up and therefore right now, those who can help should be stepping up.”
So while thinking about a way she could do more than just sponsor a food hamper for a family or buy a children’s toy, and after running a fundraiser for Timberline grad recently, she thought “why not do another one for Loonies For Loggers?”
Loonies For Loggers was started back in September by Rona Doucette and Tamara Meggitt as a way for the public to show support for those struggling in the industry. They have created an online portal for people to donate toys for children and food for families and they’ve put on benefit concerts, dances and burger and beer nights. They can now add beef jerky to their list of fundraising offerings, thanks to McCulloch.
“With a 40 per cent profit line, it makes an extremely effective fundraiser,” she says. “Not to mention, who doesn’t like beef jerky? I partnered with Ultimate Fundraising a little while back and realized with some quick math that this fundraiser is beneficial to all groups and organizations but could definitely have a huge impact for the loggers. For example, if every family affected was able to find one friend or family member to support, Loonies for Loggers would raise $50,000 and I know in my heart we could do way better than that.”
You can order a box of a dozen 35-gram bags of Jack Links beef jerky – available in original, teriyaki or sweet and hot – through the fundraiser for $42.
The first order will be going in on Christmas Eve, McCulloch says, so there’s not much time to get your order in to help support the forestry workers on the Island by getting yourself – or someone you like – a box of beef jerky.
Contact McCulloch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by text at 250-830-4294 to find out more about the fundraiser and how to get your box of jerky to support the cause.
You can find out more about Loonies For Loggers, donate directly to their cause and see their calendar of fundraising events at looniesforloggers.com