Is “Millie” Real? Ex-Amish Fundraiser Follow-Up (Updated)

I promised I would follow up if I got more information on the Go Fund Me for Millie, described as a 27-year-old woman who left her Amish community, in what looks to be Delaware.

A number of you were skeptical that this was real, which I can understand. While I reached out via two different channels to the fundraiser organizer for more information, I have not heard anything back yet.

That said, there are three more pieces of info I can provide that support my belief that this is a real fundraiser.

First is the Facebook page for the person who appears to be the fundraiser (Will Kramer), found by reader Jason. This looks to be a real person, and has the same name as the contact person listed at Go Fund Me. He has also posted a link to the fundraiser on his Facebook page for his friends and contacts to see.

Second is this photo, found in the fundraiser post on the same Facebook page:

This is a full version of the cropped photo displayed on the Go Fund Me page. People had questions about the cropped photo below (me included) for reasons including the non-Amish dresses on the two women on the sides.

It appears the Go Fund Me site crops the photos. But it looks like this is the full photo that organizer William Kramer included with the fundraiser.

Third, after sharing my initial post on Facebook, I got some feedback from two people with traditionally “Amish” surnames who claim to know Millie or know who she is.

As far as the cropped photo, at first one felt that the photo was not her. But when I gave her the link to the full photo, she replied “Oh yes it is her as an Amish girl.”

The only question one raises is about “the whole of her story”: “Yes this is true tho I’m not sure about the whole of her story but I know her and she was a member of the Amish church.”

Does “whole of the story” refer to not knowing background details? That said, it sounds like by their exchange, she just left home recently.

Figuring it out

It’s all an interesting “half-mystery” let’s call it – to decipher. I’m still hopeful William Kramer will follow up, but I can also understand if he’d like to only provide minimal information on her at this point.

In any case, after posting about the fundraiser, more donations began coming in (seven more at this point, to go with the initial two), so it seems others besides myself felt – or maybe even knew – the fundraiser was real as well.

There is a small chance it is still some sort of “scam”, and it would help to hear more from the organizer.

But at this point I believe that with this additional information, that is less likely, and that Millie is in fact a real person who would appreciate a helping hand from those inclined to provide one. I don’t know that we’ll hear more on this, but if so, I’ll update this or the previous post.

Update: Message from the Organizer

I just received a message from Will Kramer via his Facebook page, after having written the post above. He shared with me Millie’s last name, his contact number if I want to call him, and stated that this is “absolutely a legit fund raiser”.

I don’t have more details about Millie’s story, but we can add this contact from Will Kramer to the evidence above that this is a real fundraiser for a person who left her Amish community. That is a difficult topic in and of itself, which I addressed to some degree in the original post.

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    5 Comments

    1. Leslie Harris

      Is “Millie” Real? Ex-Amish Fundraiser Follow-Up

      I wonder, as more young Amish become increasingly familiar and comfortable with the power of social media, if this type of funding will be utiized as a way of more easily transitioning to the English world for those inclined to leave.

      1. Geo

        Money

        Yes, a way of more easily transitioning to the English world for those inclined to leave (with money). Incentive from the non Amish world to leave plain life behind is a bit troubling.

    2. Jason

      Thank you

      Thank you, Erik, for the kind and nuanced look at this story, and for following up with these details.

      The “escapee” term is relatively new, I think, and also a bit jarring for me. But having grown up in the conservative world (my dad was raised Old Order, and then Beachy Amish, and I grew up in one of the conservative Mennonite groups), I realize that the basic idea feels true to me. I’m now loosely part of a liberal Mennonite community, taking part only as much as I choose. I’ve often marveled with a few friends of similar background at how we ended up where we are. It doesn’t always seem intentional or planned, but it does often feel like an escape.

      The Anabaptist faith was founded on the idea of adult baptism and free choice in joining the church. I think some of the conservative groups/families could loosen up a bit and lean more on the beauty and attractions of their Anabaptist message and less on the control and coersion of their kids. I’ve known Amish, Beachy, and other families who have done just that, and they now have happy, loving extended families who are part of a variety of faith traditions.

      I don’t know anything about Millie’s story, but I do know that we’re all just trying to find our way, and I trust her to find hers.

      1. Sure thing Jason, and thanks for your help on the details. I appreciate your thoughtful comments especially as someone with that experience. I am an outsider and try not to judge one way or another as being superior. At least from that outsider’s perspective I can see benefits of both a more conservative and a more progressive approach.

        I went into it a little in a comment on that other post, but I used that “escapee” term in quotation marks not to suggest I would use it to describe just anyone who left the Amish, or even that I necessarily agree with its straight usage. But that it seemed to fit the story that was presented in the fundraiser description – of a family that seemed to be trying to trap or contain someone in a situation she didn’t want to be in (at least, according to that side of the story). And of course it is a loaded term, hence the “”.

    3. J.O.B.

      I understand Anabaptist trying to balance freedom and control.

      They understand how easy it is for an individual to head down a unhealthy path.

      Like a tree that grows tall. Has many branches that go in different directions. Like Those who leave the Amish.

      But Those branches are never as strong as the base of the tree(Amish family. Community) And in time, those branches more easily break.

      I’ve seen people leave the Amish or mennonite family. The first generation seems ok. But the following generation takes another step away from faith.

      Each generation after, takes their own path. Their own step further away.

      Branches sprouting branches. Each a little weaker.

      Wind and rain can erode stone. At first you don’t notice much of a change. But in time, the stone is worn. Wearing away.

      Worldly influence has much more control then many who leave are willing to admit or even aware of.

      Just a different point of view based on experience and observation.