This caught my eye yesterday. I’ve not often seen an online fundraiser for a person who left his or her Amish community. But that’s what this is, for a 27-year-old woman named Millie:

Hi everyone, Millie may the decision to leave the Amish very recently. She had been shunned by her family and they would not give her belongings to her unless she put on Amish clothes and cane back there. They would try and stop her from leaving if she went to get her things. She has to completely start over again at 27 years old. She is already working some but will have to buy furniture, cooking and kitchen supplies and a car to get to work.. She is honest and has always been hard working but doesn’t have anything now. Please give of your heart knowing that she is forever grateful for anything that you can give.. Thank you!

Assuming this is real – and I do have some questions, including on the photo attached, which either includes two figures in non-Amish dresses, or is maybe just a generic photo – it’s an unusual type of fund drive, but I guess one that shouldn’t surprise us in the year 2020.

For that matter, I’m not posting on this to take a moral stand one way or the other on this one, because oftentimes “it’s complicated”.

What can be said on this? There’s not a lot of info given, so not a whole lot. But we can assume that Millie’s family and community certainly want her to be Amish, and be a part of their lives. But at the same time, she is clearly being pulled in a different direction. I think we need to respect our families and commitments, but at the same time we as individuals need to do what is best in our lives. No one knows the circumstances and what precipitated this besides her and whoever else, such as her family, is involved.

Beyond that, there is no information as to whether Millie is a baptized church member, though she is described as being “shunned by her family” (some people use that “shunned” language loosely to describe severed relations, even when it is not technically an excommunication/Meidung situation).

However, Millie is of an age where most of her peers would be baptized, if that is the course they are taking in their lives. If Millie made a baptismal promise, that is something the Amish take seriously, and the implications of which she will need to deal with, of course, on her own.

delaware amish yoder road

The Dover, Delaware Amish community

All that said and set aside for now, it looks like this young woman is at least for the time being heading down a different life pathway, and could use some help.

The organizer of the Go Fund Me is based in Felton, Delaware, which is the Dover area, so we can probably assume Millie’s origins are in that Amish community. It doesn’t look like the amount given on her Go Fund Me has budged since yesterday. Here is the link if you’d like to view it in full and contribute.

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