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Discarded volunteer stands ground

Burgeo’s Kay Cossar was recently let go as a long-time coordinator for Samaritan’s Purse after refusing to sign its amended statement of faith.
Burgeo’s Kay Cossar was recently let go as a long-time coordinator for Samaritan’s Purse after refusing to sign its amended statement of faith.

Standing up for what she believes in has meant the loss of a long-time volunteer for Samaritan’s Purse.

Kay Cossar of Burgeo believes that publicly sharing her experience with the charitable organization was the right thing to do, and she will no longer support Samaritan’s Purse in any way.

Earlier this year, Cossar was asked to sign an amended statement of faith, and refused due to updated refinements. They included her agreement against same sex marriage and the woman’s choice to have an abortion.

Cossar is a believer of pro-choice and was disappointed in the organizations amendments, which meant removing herself from the volunteer coordinator position.

Since 1998, Cossar has volunteered as the area co-ordinator for Operation Christmas Child, and has packaged and sent some 4,442 shoeboxes from the southwest coast.

After refusing to sign the statement, Cossar returned it with a letter supporting her decision.

She later received a phone call from the Atlantic Regional Supervisor telling her she was no longer a suitable co-ordinator because her beliefs differed from Samaritan’s Purse.

After sharing her experience through Facebook, Cossar said she has had an overwhelming amount of support.

She is also a volunteer with the local senior’s housing corporation, a member of a group that makes and donates items where needed, and helps with entertainment for the Lions pub night, the Calder Health Centre and seniors groups.

She is looking forward to the little bit of extra time for her hobbies.

A spokesperson for Samaritan’s Purse provided an emailed statement clarifying questions on the statement of faith.

In the statement, it was written the statement of faith underwent refinements, not because the organization’s views on the issues have changed, but because the world’s views have changed.

“We felt the need to remind our volunteers that our organization accepts the Bible as the inspired and infallible word of God. The Bible does not condone sex outside marriage, it defines marriage as being between one man and one woman, and it upholds the sanctity of life,” was written.

As an act of integrity, the organization said it should not be relying on year-round volunteers to represent the organization who do note endorse our values, it said.

Samaritan’s Purse did include information regarding the donation of shoeboxes, saying they do not require donators to sign the statement, and shoeboxes are give to children of all faiths and of no faith.

Editor's note: This article was originally published on May 30, 2016. 

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