The CEO of Appraisal Management Company Coester VMS, Brian Coester, admits he wasn’t expecting such a backlash against his charity when American Girl featured a certain young lady he is personally very close to.
But backlash he got. And here’s why.
First, doll-maker American Girl ran this article about foster child Amaya and her two dads, one of whom works at Coester.
While not the primary focus of the article, several action groups took pause at the inclusion of the two, gay fathers in the article.
Most notably, the group One Million Moms called for a boycott of American Girl, with this as the justification:
“1MM supports adoption and taking care of orphans as we are biblically instructed to do in Psalm 82:3, but American Girl could have focused the article on the child and not about the parents since it is a magazine for children,” said a statement on the One Million Moms website.
[This is Psalm 82:3 “Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.]
“We must remain diligent and stand up for biblical values and truth. Scripture says multiple times that homosexuality is wrong, and God will not tolerate this sinful nature. American Girl doesn’t highlight other sins in their magazine.”
Here’s the thing. One of the dads featured in article, Rob Scheer, heads the operations of a charity called Comfort Cases. Scheer is a senior vice president at Coester, which runs Comfort Cases.
“Basically, the offices of Comfort Cases share space with the Coester offices,” Coester said. “We’re getting hate letters to the office.”
“The backlash, and the support has been amazing,” he added.
Coester explained they started Comfort Cases in response to Scheer’s own experience growing up in foster care.
“Rob explained to me that foster kids don’t have anything,” Coester said, so the charity packs backpacks full of essentials, such as sleepwear, toothbrushes and tooth paste and toys so children entering the system have something to call their own from the beginning.
For example, when Scheer’s children arrived from foster care, years ago, “A social worker dropped them off carrying the same thing, just a trash bag full of used clothing,” he writes in this blog.
Coester said, as far as his business goes, the One Million Moms boycott of American Girl is having the opposite impact on his appraisal company.
“Our clients have really stepped up to support the work we do,” he said. “Groups like that simply make fun of people who aren’t doing anything to hurt anyone. We are going to continue to run this charity, and run it very effectively.”