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Samaritans left volunteers in lurch

SCOTT FARMELANT’S depiction of the Framingham Samaritans as a “tiny segment” of the organization is shockingly demeaning and disrespectful (“Some put personal grievances ahead of group’s mission,” Letters, June 15). Framingham had over 100 active volunteers, many who stayed months, years, even decades beyond the initial nine-month volunteer commitment to continue to answer calls and take on training and leadership roles within the organization.

Within a week of closure, nearly two-thirds of our team were banding together to be there for one another in support and solidarity as true Befrienders. There is nothing tiny about us. We are strong, we are committed, and we are united.

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Are we also sad, angry, and confused? Naturally. That is what happens when you grieve. And the closure of Samaritans of Framingham is a loss for us. But when we asked our organization to support us in this grief, to help us understand the needlessly abrupt closure, our organization — whose slogan is “you are not alone” — has left us in the dark.

The same day, Samaritans board chairman Peter Marsh put out a letter entitled, “Organization dedicated to helping those who are in despair.” The volunteers of Framingham are in despair. We were in need of compassionate care from the organization we have dutifully served. We were left alone.

Jen Cullen


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