While the rest of the Duggar family have been less vocal than usual about supporting a specific candidate in the most recent election cycle, Derick Dillard has been open about his choice. In a recent series of posts, Dillard chronicled a trip to D.C. with his church, then finally expressed his support for Trump with a gift shop purchase — leading some viewers to again question how donations to the family are being used.
Derick Dillard has been asking fans to donate money so he could participate in a ministry program run by Cross Church now that he’s back in the Duggar home of Arkansas. However, his fundraisers have been deleted multiple times from the crowdfunding site he tried to use, apparently for violations of site rules.
On Wednesday, Derick began posting about his trip to Capitol Hill with the Cross Church School of Ministry. Derick’s wife, Jill Duggar Dillard, was able to join the trip, though her own social media posts and the Dillard Family Blog both indicate that only Derick is joining the ministry program. (Jill and Derick are second and third on the back row in the photo below.)
Derick posted several more times over the next few days, sharing his tour of the White House and his visit to the Supreme Court.
On several of these photos, viewers questioned whether Derick will follow in Josh Duggar’s path by becoming involved in politics and how the trip was funded.
One commenter asked, “Vacation in DC! Did [Jim Bob Duggar] fund that?”
Another said, “You can’t have it both ways. Either they make enough from the show for them to take vacations and stuff, in which case, he can afford to pay for his OWN freakin’ ‘personal development.’ Or they have to depend on donations from others just to get by, in which case, they shouldn’t be taking trips on other people’s money.”
However, the dam broke when Derick posted a photo of the socks he had purchased in the White House gift shop. Within a few hours, dozens of Instagram users had commented to let Dillard know they were unfollowing his accounts and would not contribute to his causes and fundraising in the future.
The comments expressing distaste for Derick’s post fell largely into two categories, of which samples below are representative.
“As a Christian, how do you support this guy?”
Variations on this include reference to multiple women accusing Trump of sexual harassment, as well as the recording in which Trump described grabbing women’s genitals, his policies, and other rhetoric.
The other type of criticism again centered on donations. Just a few of these quotes follow.
“I hope you didn’t use your ‘fans’ donation money for those fugly socks!!!”
“You’re begging for money for your ‘mission’ but waste money on these socks?! Get real.”
RadarOnline reported two years ago that the Duggar and Dillard families actually had to refund donations from fans after donors began to question whether they were funding a real missions trip or a vacation for Derick and Jill.
It’s not clear exactly how much Derick Dillard ever received in donations from Duggar fans, but even after his fundraiser was deleted, he still has a donation page on the family website, where in May, the family specifically noted that donations would help cover personal expenses when they returned to the Duggar home in Arkansas for Jill to give birth.
Derick’s note last month to a would-be supporter also indicated that he is working on setting up other ways to accept donations online, and he may be receiving cash donations outside these systems as well.
It’s also not clear what kind of income Derick and Jill are receiving for appearing on the Duggar family’s reality show. In Touch magazine uncovered information indicating that the Duggar family could be receiving anywhere from $25k to $120k per episode (four days of filming), but it’s not clear how that would be divided. According to OK Magazine, there are rumors that Jill and Derick Dillard have been kicked off the Duggar show after certain comments from Derick about a young transgender girl who stars on another TLC reality show, so it’s also not clear if that income is continuing.
[Featured Image by Derick Dillard/Instagram]