FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — During Josh Duggar’s child pornography trial in 2021, one internet community made it an opportunity to raise awareness of child abuse, initiating an online donation campaign that raised over $24,000 for the Children’s Safety Center of Washington County.
That group ordered so many items from the center’s Amazon Wishlist that a separate delivery truck was needed — over 300 packages worth. When Duggar’s sentencing was set for May 25, that same group mobilized again. Members have made more donations to the Children’s Safety Center, as well as to other charities and organizations focused on helping victims and survivors of sexual assault and abuse.
Some donated $20, noting that it was the maximum number of years of Duggar’s potential sentence. Others tied their donation amount specifically to his sentence length. When asked to comment on their donations, many of them spoke out anonymously.
The comments included the following:
- “Protection of children is our international duty,” said one donator from Amsterdam. “Children should be able to grow up in a loving home.”
- “I donated monetarily after the guilty verdict as a way to reconcile my feelings of joy that he was convicted with the recognition that his were not victimless crimes.”
- “I donated from their wish list because I desperately wanted to see some good come from this. I wanted to make sure that what I donated could be used to help women and families in awful situations get back up on their feet.”
- “I donated $151, one dollar for every month. I do it in my mom’s honor. I haven’t told her about the details of the case because she is a sexual assault survivor herself. But she didn’t get the help she needed, so I want to make sure other children do.”
- “I chose to support this effort because I wish this type of organization existed when I was that child being abused.”
Emily Rappe Fisher, the center’s Development Director, told KNWA that so far, the second round of cash donations has totaled approximately $7,000, in addition to around 160 more packages donated from the wishlist. She said that some of the donations from the Amazon wishlist “have been really cute,” including comments from people as far away as Europe.
The Children’s Safety Center of Washington County is holding a Crawfish Boil fundraiser on Saturday, June 4, from 12-5 p.m. at George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville. Tickets are $20 and are available for preorder here.
On May 25, Duggar was sentenced to 151 months in federal prison following his conviction on a pair of child pornography charges. He is being held in the Washington County Jail, awaiting transfer to a federal facility.