NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A group of North Texas mothers came up with an interesting idea to raise money for a local charity. But the organization on the receiving told the group, “no thank you.” It’s the reason why they turned down the money that has a lot of people talking.
The Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County investigates physical and sexual abuse of children. Officials there admit that the organization has outgrown its current building and is in need of money.
But the center rejected a donation from a group of mothers because of how those funds were raised.
Stacy Willingham and her friends have two things in common – a love of tattoos and a desire to raise money for good causes. “We should end up with between $3,000 and $5,000,” Willingham said of their fundraising effort.
The group that named themselves the Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas came up with the idea for a pinup calendar, featuring them posing in 1950s style fashions.
Sales from the calendar were to benefit the Children’s Advocacy Center and group members say they were surprised to get an email respectfully declining the donation.
Willingham said she was appalled and disappointed. “The way it came across is, ‘we’re conservative. We don’t want your money.’”
Daniel Leal, the executive director for the center, explained that it wasn’t the group, but the photos that could be taken out of context. “It was a pinup calendar that could be perceived as sexual in nature,” he said.
The center found some of the photos in the calendar to be suggestive and did describe their organization as “conservative” in its response to the women.
Leal defended the decision to turn down the money saying, “If a defense attorney pulled some of these pictures on the stand and said, ‘you’re concerned about this child being sexually abused but yet here’s a picture of this lady that was used as a fundraiser. You don’t appear to be concerned about sexual abuse at all.’”
The women object to any description of the photos as racy. Of the pictures Willingham said, “They’re not provocative. Did you see the pictures? We’re all fully clothed,” she insisted. “Any given day you can walk out and see less clothing. I’ve seen less clothing at church.”
Administrators with the Advocacy Center say will accept a donation from the women if they find another way to raise money.
The women believe they can find another non-profit that will accept proceeds from the pinup calendar.
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