Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo recently used the story of a talented young girl to promote a charity for kids, but the couple has been criticized for failing to disclose that the kids who participate in the program are exposed to “Biblical mentoring.”
Many Duggar fans praised Jinger and her pastor husband when they revealed their involvement with a charity called SWAN4Kids, and the Counting On stars recently ramped up their efforts to spread the word about the nonprofit by promoting it on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. In a video posted on Jeremy Vuolo’s Facebook page, he and Jinger Duggar tell the story of a child who has benefited from SWAN4Kids. As reported by CafeMom, the charity is a “music mentoring program” for children with incarcerated parents, and it was founded by Jeremy Vuolo’s mother, Diana.
“The United States has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world,” Jinger says in the latest SWAN4Kids promotional video. “As a result, 1 in 14 children in the U.S. have a parent in prison, and are 70 percent more likely than other children to end up in prison themselves.”
Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo’s video spotlights a 10-year-old girl named Bryanna who was “abandoned by her drug-addicted mother and imprisoned father.” Bryanna began taking voice lessons through SWAN4Kids, and Jinger says that her “voice transformed from a straining alto to that of a beautiful soprano.” This led to opportunities for Bryanna to show off her new talent at various events, including one featuring U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson.
As reported by the Inquisitr, the first SWAN4Kids promotional video that Jinger Duggar and her husband shared spotlighted a young girl named Anna whose talent impressed the Counting On stars so much that they invited her to sing at their wedding. It came under scrutiny from critics who noted that the couple failed to mention that the nonprofit has a religious slant while they were describing what it does.
“The first page of the website sounds great about how they work with the children of those incarcerated, but digging in a little more there are strings attached to their charity,” reads a comment on the Free Jinger web forum. “From the website: ‘SWAN’s board members are Biblical Christians dependent on God’s word, His Grace, wisdom, and provision to carry SWAN onward. As SWAN students learn the disciplines of music they are also exposed to Biblical mentoring and Gospel truths.'”
“These kids are already so vulnerable,” another commenter remarked. “It just bugs me that there has to be a religious element. Why can’t the organization just provide outreach services to kids without trying to suck them into their brand of Christianity?”
Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo also don’t say anything about SWAN 4 Kids being a Christian charity in their more recent video. However, Jeremy does describe Bryanna’s voice lessons as “blessings” provided by the organization. The couple also gives fans a little update on Anna (the girl who sang at their wedding, not their sister-in-law). When Jinger and Jeremy’s first video was shared on the Duggar family’s Facebook page, many concerned fans responded with questions about what happened to the young girl from their story. Jinger and Jeremy had said that Anna was living in a detention center because she had nowhere else to go, and she had to return there after she performed at their wedding.
According to Jinger Duggar and her husband, Anna is longer resides in the detention center because she is now an adult. The couple didn’t share any details about her current living situation, but they did say that she is “continuing to use her voice to scale her walls.”
[Featured Image by Jeremy Vuolo/Facebook]