Last week, The Ashley told you that Counting On stars Jill and Derick Dillard, would be heading back to Central America to continue doing mission work, despite the fact that Derick is having health issues and Jill is currently pregnant. Although it was assumed that the Dillards would be shipping back to El Salvador in March, the family just couldn’t wait.
A few days ago, Jill and Derick announced via their family blog that they, along with their toddler son Israel, have already hopped a plane back to the jungles of Central America. They also announced that they need more money pronto, and asked ‘Counting On’ fans to help pay for their personal expenses for the trip.
“We hope you’ll consider partnering with us in this mission,” the Dillards wrote. “In addition to the ministry outreach expenses, there are always monthly expenses for groceries, utilities, fuel, healthcare, etc. We have always purposed to live a frugal lifestyle and continue to do so in the mission field,. When you give a donation to our ministry, you are helping our family cover living expenses to be able to remain on the field and helping reach so many precious lives.”
The Dillards explained that they need about $24,000 to cover the expenses of this leg of their mission trip. All of the donations are flowed through Dillard Family Ministries, the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that Jill and Derick set in 2015.
Jill and Derick have taken a lot of flack for returning to Central America even though Jill is currently pregnant and at risk to develop various illnesses plaguing the area, including the Zika virus. The couple has said that they will return to the United States before Jill is ready to give birth in July.
Even some of the Duggar family’s most supportive fans did not react well to the blog post. Many commented that Jill and Derick (and the Duggar family) are pulling in big money from their TV show,and should not be 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 for the next couple of months (they will be back for Jill to deliver) when they have been living free for the last 6 months?” one fan wrote on the Duggar family fan blog. “They also receive very nice paychecks from their TLC appearances and magazine articles.”
“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, and 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 that Derek and Jill have been called out for asking fans for money. In September 2015, the couple came under fire when some fans who had donated to the Dillard’s charity accused the couple of misusing donations to travel back and forth to the United States so that they could attend various family functions. The Dillards responded by offering to give donations back to anyone who felt swindled.