I’m a friend of the family. On Wednesday evening, Joe contacted me in tears because he was about to lose ALL of his family. His wife and two oldest boys had been taken and he was threatened with custody as well if he didn’t give up the rest of his children the next morning.
I hastily set up a GoFundMe page in Joe’s name and linked it to his bank account, thinking that would be the best way, but I wrote the GoFundMe post in third-person. When this started gaining national attention and way more funds than we expected people to give, I changed the name on the page for Project Creator to myself, Pace Ellsworth, to be more clear about that, and added more details about where the funds would go. Some have scrutinized that list. We brainstormed with the Nauglers what they would use the funds for and it was clear that they wanted to do anything necessary to get their children back and continue their plans to live a homestead life, and wanted to make sure that they were giving their children what they needed to thrive; better shelter, better utilities, better access to the world. Any additional funds beyond those basic needs would go to help other families that undeservedly face being torn apart by state programs.
I am confident that the funds will be used appropriately so that the children are getting the life that everyone wishes them to have TOGETHER with their parents.
I never had a problem with the page. I am a staunch supporter of parental rights. If the children were in danger they would have already suffered. Children need freedom to explore.
What I would hope is for the local community to rally around this family and their rights to live a simple life. How about someone there organize a massive “barn-raising” event to go in and help clean up the property and erect that cabin they say the money will help them build.
While they may not like the water, they need to spend part of the donations on drilling for a well. You can always use filtration to filter out contaminants.
As long as the family does not appear to have basic services, I fear the “authorities” will deem their location unfit. No matter that the vast majority of Americans lived this way for centuries does not change the fact that modern conveniences are deemed essential for good health.
I hope someone will organize a community effort to rally around and help this family.
This is a reasonable comment/suggestion. I think your family had the best of intentions when you decided to live an authentic lifestyle. Something somewhere went horribly wrong. I think the funds should go towards having a clean water source. (The pond is contaminated with waste) and having a simple but durable shelter. And the property needs to be clean and organized.
I pray for community support for this family, a family that has made life choice that is different than the majority of the nation. That does not mean their choice is wrong.
Ditto Kate Adam’s comment.
Dear Pace, please allow a few full- hearted suggestions. I would drop that last paragraph about ” confidence”, or at least those first few words, as OFTEN pledges of confidence actually create doubt and questions in the readers or hearers minds. Simple strong statements are better. 2. Because I have no money to help with, I don’t know if a privately hired attorney is on the list, but one sure needs to be, according to all I have read about these cases. A private attorney is expensive, and this should be the first expense on the list, as it is said it makes a HUGE difference- to the negative without, and to the positive with one. 3. I have read that gofundme not long ago closed down an account they didn’t agree with, responding to public pressure. Youcaring.com is much better, and they don’t take money off the top. They serve the faith community, so your values would be far better aligned there.
Please tell them tons of people are praying for all of them every day.
As to other families, it would be far better not to be on FB, as it’s like an advertisement of having precious children, and values that the world in large measure no longer agrees with.
P.S. Pace- they also need to contact HSLDA if they haven’t yet. HSLDA.org.
My mother did not have much while she was raising my siblings and me either. We had a very old house that was very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. It was a bit better I think than what this family has. I think I came out a pretty good person and was able to go to college later in life to become a teacher. This is not a bad family because they homeschool. I see how much better homeschooled children are in the world than the ones who went to a public school. The family probably needs help with some things, but taking their children is so wrong. Most older children do go through a time in their lives where they do not agree with how they are being raised by their parents. What I see here are parents who love and do not want their children to turn out bad in this cruel world. God bless them.
Living in California and seeing children - homeless together with their mothers and fathers - having nowhere to go and ride the bus all night while cold outside just to have opportunities to sleep - I am appalled about actions taken against this family.
It takes one disgruntled person to make a call and causing havoc as in this case.
The lifestyle of the Nauglers is not for everyone - however it is their right to choose; if their children are happy and cared for - why the cold actions by CPS?
I would rather have CPS focused on children - as witnessed by me here - who have no shelter, no food, no access to bathing or water all together.
If they want to see neglected children - homeless - they should pay a visit to California!
I agree with Kate’s statement above. In addition to your community ‘hopefully’ rallying around you & your family and helping – whether to build a new cabin, clean up the property, or whatever – I believe that you, or a friend or family member, should start a petition on Change (dot) org, directed to CHFS, the Judge presiding over this case, and anyone/everyone in a decision-making position of power or authority who is involved in this case. It’s obvious that many people across the nation support you and your right to live as you choose, so long as your children are being cared for and are thriving.
Another option may be to check into the charity ‘Habitat for Humanity’. I don’t know their protocol as far as selecting candidates for providing homes to those in need; however, it is at least worth looking into as an avenue for assistance. Even if you don’t meet their qualifications, they may be able to provide some insight as to where you may obtain the help you need. Right now, it seems that your most immediate need is adequate housing to get your children back. I understand that your lifestyle choice will likely differ from the sort of ‘standard’ home (running water, septic system, etc.) they provide to those in need, but perhaps they could help with organizing a sort of ‘barn raising’ as Kate had recommended, especially since you already plan on doing the work yourselves to build a larger cabin. Having some extra people to help can get the job done faster and ultimately bring your children home sooner.
As far as CHFS wanting your children to be in school, one option to keep them home schooled may be an online opportunity. I don’t know if these programs are offered where you live, but many school districts across the country now have an online opportunity that is actually considered part of the local/county school district. This may be a way for CHFS to meet you halfway on this issue. You should be able to get information about this on your local school district’s website.
I have read every word of every bit of information online about this. What I have seen through this is that both Nicole & Joe are not just educated people, but very well-spoken. Their command of the English language is very good, particularly when compared with others (such as the CHFS employee who wrote the accusations & Emergency Custody Order Affidavit [run-on & fragmented sentences, typos, poor grammar], reporters, writers, etc.). Having worked for 23 years as a professional proofreader & editor, I am not the sort of person to pass out compliments such as this at random.
Based on the above, it is obvious through your writing skills that you are both intelligent people who, more likely than not, can provide your children with an education far superior to what they would receive at any school. It never ceases to amaze me that people who quite obviously have nowhere near the intelligence of Joe & Nicole are getting paid to prepare legal documentation, write articles (online or elsewhere) – complete with run-on & fragmented sentences, typos, and unbelievably poor grammar – news stories, etc.
I have been a teacher of Special Ed, 5th Grade, and Kindergarten. I am a mother of two children and a grandmother of two children. With this experience, and again referring back to all that I have read about this, I feel confident that these children are best in the custody of the parents. Public schools these days are not what they used to be when we grew up. Kids can be mean, and bullying is at an all-time high.
In addition to Joe & Nicole being well-educated and therefore quite qualified to educate their children, it should be noted that they are NOT divorced. Rather, they seem to work together to educate their children and provide them with a quality home life. Considering the rate of divorce today, this is an accomplishment. Not only are Joe & Nicole still married, they are still married with 10 children (not counting the Traitor son), and another on the way. Their marriage has absolutely stood the test of time. I feel certain that this cannot be said in the case of at least 50% of school-age children, not only where Joe & Nicole live, but nationwide.
Statistics have shown that children who do NOT come from ‘broken’ homes excel far above their ‘product-of-divorce’ counterparts, not only where education is concerned, but also with success in life. Where divorce rates are concerned, online statistics vary due to information not being current and statistical data being categorized by state of residence, age, sex, the number of times people have been married, and whether or not there are/were any children of the marriage. Regardless of these divisional lines, the absolute lowest percentage rate of divorce among these categorical groups is between 41 and 50%…and those numbers rise drastically when a person has been married more than once, to as high as 74%. Based solely on this data, it seems obvious that children thrive best when both parents are present in the family unit, as they are in the case of Joe & Nicole.
Finally, in addition to providing a petition signed by thousands of people, I would also recommend printing out & providing a copy of all of the comments that have been posted in response to this tragedy. All those that I have read have been very positive and supportive.
I wish you luck and continued love as you prove CHFS wrong and I pray for an expeditious end to this nightmare you are living. I will keep your family in my prayers daily. Place your trust in the Lord, for He is mightier than any of us could ever hope to be, and certainly far more so than those at CHFS who have ultimately taken the word of a disgruntled, ‘unfriended’ Facebook user.
– Susan D’Agostino
P.S. While I know my email won’t show up with my post, if you have access to it Joe & Nicole, you’re welcome to reply if you’d like to.
I am a father of 8 kids. My wife and I raised them in a a tradional manner in a very religiuos home. Even with that we got flack from people all the time just for having 8 kids. I think the Kentucky authorities are anti-family and anti-religiuos and as well as anti-back to basics living. I appluad this family and I wish I would have had the courgage to what they have done.
I am also in favor of an organized barn-raising, to help this family build a more appropriate shelter.
I am not in favor of a GoFundMe where there is no true accountability for the monies spent.
These parents, by their choice, have an extremely large family they cannot adequately support. Living in a lean-to without water and proper sanitation, in 2015 America, is unacceptable.
It is unfortunate that the government has stepped in, but in order for the parents to have their children back, they need to demonstrate they can raise their children in a basic clean and SAFE environment, which was not the case at the “homestead”.
I have seen very poor people in 3rd word countries living better than these people.
The money needs to provide shelter, a well, sanitation and proper cooking facilities. But laptops? I don’t think so. Let dad go out and start working.
How about the Duggar family making a statement and getting involved in helping this family. One big fortunate family helping one big unfortunate family.
There are many things that are great about living simply. I was raised with my 6 brothers and less than these kids have, it was the best time of my life. I now live in a Million $ beach house in California, build homes for a living and fly airplanes as a hobby. Not bad for a kid who loved being barefoot everyday there wasn’t snow on the ground in Alaska and now everyday here is So. Cal.
I think that this whole situation and the collection of funs should be that the children should be the ones looked at to see that the funs be used appropriately to make the space safe and teach the children from this perspective
So that this place look and be safe for habitation the children be tested for heavy metals iron and infection
I wonder when Iook at the photos in its best state
That the ability of these parents in the time they inhabit acted the space to have not done so much more to make it rustic but with some thoughts to the seasons and need to create a space so that basic needs be met
All of the money be controlled to do what is necessary
I am not totally comfortable with the enviroments ability to withstand the seasons
I don’t see but that they need help and education to create an maintain a site rustic but there needs more thought about the safety and public health needs to protect both the environment from the humans to prevent the environmental problems that this money could do the things for the health and safety of the children
This is all home schooling subjects too