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Loonies for Loggers will continue to offer support after strike ends

By Kathy O'Reilly, North Island Eagle,  November 15 2019

"The support we’ve received from businesses, people and other unions has left us speechless at times, which is strange for us, as we both know how amazing people are, especially here on the island,” says Rona Doucette, who along with Tamara Meggitt started up North VI Logging Communities United and the “Loonies for Loggers” campaign last month to help out those impacted by the Western Forest Products strike which began July 1.

“Things are going amazing. They say it takes a village, but in our case, it’s now looking to be the province as we’ve received donations from all over. We just received one from back east from a lady who grew up here and had seen my posts in our Woss group.”

Doucette estimates Loonies for Loggers has raised about $10,000 in cash so far which has been used to buy food, fresh produce and dairy for families.

“We try to shop locally and will purchase gift cards to local grocery stores to be given to the families as well,” she said.

“We’ve also bought individually for a few families that have been in dire straits.”

 Photo  —Loonies for Loggers

Tamara Meggitt, with Loonies for Loggers, brought groceries to Port McNeill and Port Hardy.

A desire by three young moms to earn enough extra cash to go for a spa weekend has blossomed into a burgeoning business.

Jaylene Lancaster, Michelle Hogstead, and Megan Hodgson are the trio of moms behind BackRoads Apparel based in Port McNeill.

“We started a few years ago, but we officially launched with our clothes in August,” said Lancaster.

Each of the women invested $66 and started with pop sockets (that attach to the back of cell phones).

The entrepreneurs raised enough money selling them to go to the spa, but did not use it, “because we wanted to reinvest in our business into clothing with a North Island feel to it,” Lancaster said.

The BackRoads Apparel line includes onesies in sizes six to 24 months; and children’s, men’s and women’s short and long sleeve, and crew neck T-shirts, as well as hoodies.

Until recently, BackRoads was selling its clothing through pop-up shops and attending events like OrcaFest and the Fall Fair as well as through Facebook, Instagram and word of mouth.

“We’ve had a really great response from the community (Port McNeill) and the surrounding areas. I I think we’ve done three or four orders of clothing since August  and we’ve been able to add new things every single time we’ve ordered,” she said.

Far ahead of their envisioned schedule, BackRoads has just launched a website ( and has already started receiving orders.

“We have sales all the way to Ontario right now. It’s been really incredible to see. It’s been really fun,” said Lancaster.

Young entrepreneurs successfully travelling the BackRoads

By Kathy O'Reilly, North Island Eagle,  November 15 2019

 Photo  —Kathy O'Reilly

Michelle Hogstead, Jaylene Lancaster, and Megan Hodgson are the trio of moms behind BackRoads Apparel based in Port McNeill.


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