Judgmental Charity

Local children's charity rejects donation from tattooed moms group

Local children's charity rejects donation from tattooed moms group

Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas
Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas was founded in 2011. Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas/Facebook
Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas
The group raises money for charity by creating and selling a calendar. Photo by Courts Griner
Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas
The cover of the 2013 Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas calendar. Photo by Stewart Cohen
Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas
Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas are moms with ink. Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas/Facebook
Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas
The Children's Advocacy Center for Denton County rejected $3,000 donation because it came from calendar proceeds. Photo by Courts Griner
Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas
Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas
Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas
Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas
Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas

Apparently, not everyone is qualified to write a check to the Children's Advocacy Center for Denton County. The child abuse charity is facing criticism after it rejected a $3,000 donation from the Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas, a North Texas group dedicated to celebrating ink and motherhood.

The organization raised the money by creating a pin-up calendar of its members showing off their body art. Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas announced the surprising news with a November 4 post on Facebook.

"Unfortunately, the director of Children's Advocacy Center of Denton County has turned down our charity donation," reads the post, which also includes the director's rejection letter in its entirety:

I was able to look at your facebook, watched your video and looked at some of the pinup shoots. First of all, being a new mom of a one year old I really commend you and this group of moms for well “just being you”. However, due to the highly conservative nature of our organization, we are going to have to respectfully decline being one of your beneficiaries. Thank you for considering us and wanting to keep it local but I also know there is another deserving organization out there. Best of luck and hope you raise lots of money for your charities!

Stacie Wainscott
Development Director, Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County

This news isn't sitting well with the Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas, which has attracted positive press from around the globe since its 2011 founding.

Group member Stephanie Weber Hopkins expressed her confusion on Facebook. "As a model, THPM member and survivor of childhood sexual abuse, it is very hard for me to wrap my head around your reasoning," Weber said. "As a child, enduring sexual abuse, I would have gladly accepted any help! It's unfortunate that children are being denied help because of your politics."

Group founder Stacy Willingham says this is the second time a local charity has rejected a donation from Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas. In 2012, Genesis Women's Shelter declined the offer. That's why this year, the group was trying to donate funds anonymously. The Children's Advocacy Center was tipped off to the tattooed mommas' plans, however, and the rest is history. 

Willingham is frustrated with all the negative attention the rejection has caused. Willingham says she never meant to shame the Children's Advocacy Center and was simply trying to inform her group that they needed to pick a new charity. 

"It was just supposed to be a public service announcement," Willingham says. "I'm surprised it has blown up like this. We're not negative people."

One positive result of all the publicity has been increased interested in Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas. Willingham says the group was invited to participate in a Christmas event next month with Hope Center For Autism in Fort Worth. "We have had some good things come out of this," she says. "It was a blessing in disguise."

Children's Advocacy Center released the following statement after the Dallas Observer first reported on the donation controversy. 

The Children's Advocacy Center for Denton County appreciated the generous offer made by the Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas organization; however, the money was raised with a pin up calendar that could be perceived by some as sexual in nature and our Children’s Advocacy Center’s mission is to provide justice and healing for children who are the victims of sexual abuse. Unfortunately, we could not accept the proceeds of this pin up calendar's sales because of the calendar's possible perception, and not the hard working mothers who sponsored it.