Donations help Port Alberni residents during crucial time

Students raise funds for striking millworkers; Gurdwara Society supports hospice programs

Teresa Ludvigson, executive director for Alberni Valley Hospice Society and Ty Watson House, accepts a donation of $2,100 from Gurdwara Society in December 2019. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

In the ‘community with a heart’, where so many people are struggling due to a protracted mill strike and early layoffs from a forestry company, people were generous during the holidays.

The Alberni Valley Gurdwara Society celebrated Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s 550th prakashpurb (birthday) in December by donating a cheque for $2,100 to the Alberni Valley Hospice Society and Ty Watson House.

The women of the Gurdwara Society, following Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s teachings of service and giving back to mankind, raised the funds. They thanked staff at Save-On-Foods and RBC for their support.

Students from the ADSS Leadership classes in Grades 10–12 hosted a talent show and raised $500, which they put toward purchasing turkeys from Quality Foods for families of millworkers on strike from Western Forest Products since July. Quality Foods then matched the students’ donation.

“It means a lot to our members,” said Glen Cheetham from United Steelworkers’ Local 1-1937. “It’s been a long strike and it has affected everybody. This is appreciated.”

There are approximately 250 union members on strike in Port Alberni.

“There were a lot of causes we could have chosen, but this is a major cause,” student Emily Donahue said.

“My dad is one of those on strike so I know what families are going through,” student Catriona McKay said. “Mr. Roberts (leadership teacher at ADSS) said his dad was on strike for six months, so this hit home for a lot of us.”

Both students work at Quality Foods and approached their managers about their fundraising idea. The grocery store has supported other leadership fundraising projects throughout the years, Roberts said.

quality foods

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