A few days ago, the pregnant Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard announced they would be returning to Central America for mission work.
They also hit up fans for money. Again.
Along with their toddler son Israel, Jill and Derick are off to Central America, where they’ve spent the better part of their son’s life as is.
Many worried Duggar fans are not happy that Jill has chosen to return to a Zika virus hot zone while pregnant with her second child.
We don’t imagine those same fans will be happy to be hit up for money pronto, as Jill and Derick have asked for help with their expenses.
“We hope you’ll consider partnering with us in this mission,” the Dillards wrote in their plea for fans to cover their costs in El Salvador.
“In addition to the ministry outreach expenses, there are always monthly expenses for groceries, utilities, fuel, healthcare, etc.”
They insist that all money is just for basic needs.
“We have always purposed to live a frugal lifestyle and continue to do so in the mission field,” the married couple of three years continued.
“When you give a donation to our ministry, you are helping our family cover living expenses [and] helping reach so many precious lives.”
To reach those precious lives, the Dillards explained that they need about $24,000 to cover the expenses of this portion of their mission.
All of the donations are funneled through Dillard Family Ministries, the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization Jill and Derick set up in 2015.
Jill and Derick have taken a lot of criticism for their request for, and use of, funds provided by fans through their tax-emept group before.
Transparency has not been their strong suit.
Even the Duggar family’s typically supportive fans did not react well to the blog post, calling into question whether Jill needs the money.
They are, after all, famous reality TV stars.
Does anyone think that Jill and Derick Dillard are rolling in dough and trying to cheat people? No, but they’re likely better off than most.
So why asking their fans for donations?
“I am in no way trying to start something, be critical, and am not a ‘hater,’ but why do the Dillards need donations,” asked one follower.
Another questioned why they need cash “for the next couple of months when they have been living free for the last 6 months?”
It’s a fair point, as are these others:
“They also receive very nice paychecks from their TLC appearances and magazine articles,” another member of Duggar Nation said.
“Sorry Dillards, but I don’t want to hear your moaning about having to take donations, when TLC is sending your wife checks for being on camera.”
Others have pointed out the Arkansas family’s famous frugality.
It’s one of the tenets upon which Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar created their brood, their compound, and their (once) wholesome reputation.
If they’re quasi-rich and such good savers, this doesn’t add up.
“Her parents are those famous debt-free millionaires,” another wrote. “Plus you have the physical ability to work! Not everyone does.”
This is not the first time Derek and Jill have been called out for this, and not just because of Internet haters questioning the principle of it.
In 2015-16, some fans who donated to Dillard’s charity accused the couple of misusing donations to travel back and forth to the U.S.
So that they could fly in and attend various family functions, in other words, rather than using the money to help fund their actual mission.
The duo responded by offering to give donations back to anyone who felt they were treated unfairly, though it’s not clear if that materialized.
The fact that Jill is pregnant again, coupled with Derick’s health problems and the obvious risks of living in the area, on top of this controversy?
Let’s just say it’s not the best PR week for the Dillards.