Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard repaid their generous mission trip donors with a party, but they made sure that it was only possible for certain “financial support partners” to attend the shindig.
Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard formed a tax-exempt organization called Dillard Family Ministries to raise money for their mission trip in Central America, and the couple is using their website to ask fans for donations. Jill and Derick recently headed back to Central America, and they decided to repay their donors by inviting them to their going-away party. It seems as though Jill and Derick sent out invites to all their donors, no matter how little they contributed to the couple’s cause. However, there was a catch: the donors were given little notice of the event, and they were asked to provide their own food.
The Duggar Family News: Life is Not All Pickles and Hairspray Facebook page obtained a screenshot of one of the email invitations from a donor who contributed $1 to Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard’s mission trip fund. The donor received the invitation just three days before the couple’s October 2 going-away party, which was held at Cross Church Pinnacle in Rogers, Arkansas.
Obviously, it would be very difficult for Jill and Derick’s lower-income donors to arrange a trip to Arkansas on a weekday. Perhaps the couple decided to give their donors such short notice of the party because they only wanted local supporters and wealthier donors who could afford airfare to attend the event. Party attendees were also informed that the event was a “fellowship potluck,” so they were asked to “bring a dish or finger-food to share.” However, donors were told not to bring anything else.
“No gifts, please. Your presence is enough!” the party invite read.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Jessa Duggar and Amy Duggar have been criticized for telling their fans where they can send gifts, gift cards, and money. Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard likely wanted to make sure that their going-away party didn’t look like another gift-grab. However, Pickles and Hairspray points out another issue with the invite — it makes Jill and Derick look very out-of-touch with fans who aren’t as financially well-off as the reality show stars.
“The person who sent this to me said she donated $1 to see what would happen and she got this invite on Sept. 29,” Pickles and Hairspray captioned the screengrab of the email invite. “A three day warning can be tough for those of us who don’t own a private plane like the Duggars. Plus, you had to potluck it. The Duggars couldn’t have had some subs sent in for all that money they have been earning doing nothing?”
This certainly isn’t the first time Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard have been criticized since first departing for their Central America mission trip early in July. According to Rawstory, some Duggar family critics have accused the couple of scamming their fans by using donated funds to treat their mission trip more like a vacation — they’ve already flown back home twice to attend weddings. Entertainment Tonight reports that some fans are also skeptical of Jill and Derick’s mission trip because the couple hasn’t provided detailed information on how donated funds are being spent.
The decision to throw a going-away party could be a sign that Jill and Derick are going to stay in Central America longer this time, but it’s also possible that they planned the event so that the TLC cameras would have something to film for their upcoming TV special. If this is the case, it provides another possible explanation for why donors were given such short notice of the event — perhaps Jill and Derick hastily threw it together shortly after finding out about the TLC special.
Cameramen can be seen filming the party in photos that were posted on the Duggar Family Official Facebook page.
“Thank you to all our prayer and financial support partners who were able to join us last night for an evening of ministry discussion and fellowship!” the post accompanying the photos below read. “Thank you also to our financial partners who were not able to attend last night! We can’t do this work on the mission field in Central America without you!”
There’s no word on whether Jill and Derick have actually left for Central America yet.
According to the Associated Press, TLC has decided to film “two or more” TV specials that focus on the lives of Jill Duggar and Jessa Duggar. The network revealed that at least one of the specials will air before the end of the year, but TLC hasn’t announced which special will air first.
Nancy Daniels, TLC Executive Vice President and General Manager, told the Associated Press that Jill and Derick’s special will focus on the couple’s preparations to move to Central America. She didn’t say that viewers will actually get to see the couple in the mission field, so perhaps TLC will gauge viewers’ reactions to a special centered on Jill and Derick’s month-long visit back home before sending a camera crew to Central America to trail them. According to a post on the Dillard Family website, Jill and Derick’s life won’t initially be very exciting once they return to Central America, anyway — they’re going to be in language school.
What do you think of Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard’s going-away party? Were they trying to do something nice for their donors, or were they trying to create something interesting for the TLC cameras to film?
[Featured Image via 19 Kids and Counting / Facebook]