Help ex-WBC members start a new life

$5,170 of $20k goal

Raised by 130 people in 37 months
Lauren Danielle   HARTFORD, CT
My name's Lauren Danielle Drain and I'm one of several ex Westboro Baptist Church members that were forced to start a new life from scratch outside of the CULT. Some of us left by choice and others banished for questioning the doctrine. In both instances we're forced to start life over after years of brainwashing, indoctrination and near isolation. When I was ostracized I was given a few hours to pack my life into a few suitcases, dropped off by my father at a motel and told to never return, never contact my siblings and that I was now disowned. Anyone that leaves or is kicked out is banished for life and all ties to your family, friends, community, life are severed and you are truly on your own.

Most of the cult is now made up of young children or those in their twenties. These are the people I plan to help, they were BORN into the cult or otherwise indoctrinated as children by their parents and their new community.


(My own 3 younger siblings still stranded in the WBC: Bo - 11, Taylor - 22 & Faith - 9)


(Bo & Faith being forced to mock the NOH8 campaign)

In the past 10 years, some 19 members have been able to escape the clutches of the WBC. Many have struggled to find their way and start from near scratch. Often times the "church" or family leaves the defector with little to no personal possessions and those who are able to plan an escape usually leave quickly with the bare minimums. With more and more young members defecting or being kicked out for questioning the church, I want to set up The Safety Net Project fund for those who need help getting back on their feet once they escape. Be it to help with housing, living essentials, educational needs, travel to reconnect with lost family, or just to explore the new world and see first hand that it is full of LOVE not HATE and EVIL like we have been brainwashed to believe.

Please help me foster positive change (photo of Lauren Drain)

Personally I'm doing my best to help those that have already left, I've even opened my home to them and will continue to do so. This is an opportunity for others to lend a hand and show your support for those willing to change. Together with The Safety Net Project we can help ensure that those willing to escape but are too afraid to do so, know that there are countless people out there willing to help them, accept them, forgive them, guide them and offer up some sort of safety net for starting a new life outside of the cult.


(Chalk drawing on a sidewalk by a recent young escapee)

I do not know what is too much or too little for this fundraiser (The Safety Net Project) but I want to ensure that there is a fund to help out those few who are currently struggling and those who are bound to leave someday. If this is successful in helping even those few that have recently escaped maybe it will set a great example for those others who are thinking of walking away from the only family they've have, the only friends they know, the community they are forced to maintain and the only life they have ever had.

I will be updating everyone here and on my Facebook Fan Page regarding the progress of this fundraiser and the distribution of funds to those that need it now or in the future. I hope that we can provide some level of comfort for those looking to change for the better and walk away from the WBC.

Thank you for your help!
Lauren Drain
Sister to Taylor, Bo & Faith


Author of BANISHED: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church
+ Read More
Update 7
9 months ago
Thank you to everyone that has been able to help and support this cause. I am reaching out again as it has been brought to my attention that some of the latest escapees could use a little help with rebuilding their lives and I would love to send out a few checks to those that have left in the last 12 months. Some of these young women are working 3 jobs just to stay above water.
+ Read More
Update 6
12 months ago
A huge thank you to all those that donated to The Safety Net Project. We are sending out these checks to the latest two young WBC escapees! The money is to help housing, education, essentials or just to help them get up on their feet after losing almost everything to the cult.
A huge thanks to all those that donated
+ Read More
Update 5
12 months ago
1
1
Two more young WBC members have recently escaped and as far as I am concerned the "cult" is slowly but surely falling apart. I'd like to help these two young women and If you are able to - please share this post or make a small donation if you can :)
+ Read More
Update 4
26 months ago
I'm sending out the last of the The Safety Net Project money to another WBC escapee. In addition I am also sending out an autographed book to the last $200 fund contributor. If you are looking to help support this cause or learn more about please see link below. You can also share, like or simply help spread the word. Thank you all very much for your generosity, acceptance and desire to help foster positive change: http://www.gofundme.com/Support-WBC-Escapees
Fund distribution
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update
Help spread the word!
 3.3K total shares
Tyrone Willis
37 months ago
2
2

@Jerrod Shackelford it's hard to pull away from something if you don't know any different. For example, plenty of people are born into a religion and they tend to not question it. She deserves praise for the realizing the situation she was in and making an effort to better herself. Don't be a simple-minded fool.

+ Read More
Matt Giesler
12 months ago

Lauren, I salute you for your courage for finding a new life outside that cult and your willingness to help others get out. You are doing a very good thing by setting up this project. You rock!

+ Read More
Jennifer Corry
26 months ago

I'm still stunned at that photo, some of those awful people have apparently found your campaign. I honestly look forward, though, to seeing your two youngest siblings at least as adults having to think for themselves, because so many born and raised in this have left a three-generation period of it. At the same time, I hope your parents enjoy those kids while they can, because at LEAST one of them will more than likely fly before long.

+ Read More
Jennifer Corry
26 months ago

Oh my Lord..those two children are your siblings, with tape on their mouths??

+ Read More
Shahed Alam
28 months ago

i hope one day your siblings can be saved one day. We all know the younger members are manipulated. One day it will end. You are dong a great service. God bless you.

+ Read More
Ben Brunson
36 months ago

I applaud your effort. The City of Topeka will forever be stained with the presence of Fred Phelps and "The Cult." We have enabled this group of haters too long and the WBC children are truly the ones that are forgotten.

+ Read More
Nichole Ireland
36 months ago

You are doing a great thing helping others see this "church" for what it is; a cult

+ Read More
Melissa Wigley
37 months ago

http://youtu.be/OoDY8ce_3zk

+ Read More
Jennifer Knollenberg
37 months ago

Shared the link. Great idea, hope it get's more and more coverage.

+ Read More
Carol Larson
37 months ago

Reading all of the donations and comments have brought me to tears. God Bless your efforts. I will be donating as soon as I can. I'll help spread the message.

+ Read More
James Carnahan
37 months ago

@jerrod None of us deserve grace, that is why it is called grace. It is the scandalous gift of God. What you said is legalistic and in opposition to what grace is. You my troll have missed the mark.

+ Read More
Miki Gain
37 months ago

I can't donate right now, but I will be praying about getting a job soon so I can. I have great respect for you and this is a good thing you are doing. I am so sorry you had to endure what you did. What WBC did and does is very wrong, but they don't actually represent God. I hope you can trust in Him and know the love He has for you (as He loves every person) unconditionally. *hugs*

+ Read More
Patricia Vaughn
37 months ago

Lauren...You are doing an awesome thing and truly working for the Lord. I am working on getting something together right now to help you out...I have a group that is working on it...If you would please send me a pm on FB I can give you details and ask you some questions. Please let me know.

+ Read More
Kelly Kathrineberg
37 months ago

@ Jerrod -- Everybody deserves redemption, even you. Sorry for whoever hurt you, I hope somebody can help you too, seriously.

+ Read More
Sarah Preston
37 months ago

@Jerrod - I know I'm probably just feeding a troll, but the vast majority of the WBC are born into it. It's all members of one huge family, and for a lot of people, cutting all ties with their family is hard, no matter how shitty their family is. Not only that, but these poor people are brainwashed from childhood into believing these shitty things, and those who question are either ostracised, or if they're young enough, beaten by Fred Phelps. It's a cult. It promises people safety and security in exchange for total control over their lives. They all deserve redemption, for they are all human, all capable of change, and all susceptable to brainwashing tactics. I see you using one of those symbols for equality and gay rights. Well, a huge part of gay rights includes understanding and tolerance, and your statement flies in the face of both.

+ Read More
Steve Meyers
37 months ago

@Jerrod- that's pretty shitty, and it seems to me that you're doing the same to her that the WBC does to others. You can only do so much when you're young. Stay awesome, Lauren.

+ Read More
Jerrod Shackelford
37 months ago

If you can be in that cult for even ten minutes, you don't deserve redemption.

+ Read More
Steven Sanudo
37 months ago

I'll be sharing the link to this on fb. We need to help those who've been chewed up and spat out by that church. Lets let them know that there are good people in this world, despite what they've been told!

+ Read More
Jaxon Rae
37 months ago

Don't ever give up Lauren! I can't donate at the moment, but I can spread the word!!! You have shown so much courage, and your light shines brightly- showing the REAL message that God wants us to hear- that he loves us, and will ALWAYS show us a way through the storm

+ Read More

$5,170 of $20k goal

Raised by 130 people in 37 months
Created July 7, 2013
$10
Anonymous
1 month ago
WA
$10
Will A
1 month ago

Best of luck, spread love

+ Read More
KB
$25
Kathy Beckner
3 months ago

Do you need people to open up their homes to recent escapees? That may be another suggestion. I would be willing....

+ Read More
$25
Julia Harvey
7 months ago
AH
$10
Amanda Herrmann
7 months ago

I don't have much to give, but I wish you all the best. May you find love and support in your transition.

+ Read More
$10
Brian Sullivan
8 months ago

This is my counter-protest to WBC coming to my town next week. I wish you continued healing and I'm glad you're finding a better way. Make some happy memories today.

+ Read More
$10
Paul Day
12 months ago

I'm glad you found your way out!

+ Read More
HS
$100
Hal Sawyer
12 months ago

Nothing improves my day more than the news that someone has walked out of the WBC. And also, the weird thing is: once they get out, they shine. That dark place contains luminous people just waiting to get out fill the world with light.

+ Read More
LO
$25
laura osmundson
12 months ago
RC
$25
Rebecca Chatham
12 months ago

I wish the best for all who are getting out of this. Remember that there are lots of people cheering you on as you start over! *hugs*

+ Read More
Tyrone Willis
37 months ago
2
2

@Jerrod Shackelford it's hard to pull away from something if you don't know any different. For example, plenty of people are born into a religion and they tend to not question it. She deserves praise for the realizing the situation she was in and making an effort to better herself. Don't be a simple-minded fool.

+ Read More
Matt Giesler
12 months ago

Lauren, I salute you for your courage for finding a new life outside that cult and your willingness to help others get out. You are doing a very good thing by setting up this project. You rock!

+ Read More
Jennifer Corry
26 months ago

I'm still stunned at that photo, some of those awful people have apparently found your campaign. I honestly look forward, though, to seeing your two youngest siblings at least as adults having to think for themselves, because so many born and raised in this have left a three-generation period of it. At the same time, I hope your parents enjoy those kids while they can, because at LEAST one of them will more than likely fly before long.

+ Read More
Jennifer Corry
26 months ago

Oh my Lord..those two children are your siblings, with tape on their mouths??

+ Read More
Shahed Alam
28 months ago

i hope one day your siblings can be saved one day. We all know the younger members are manipulated. One day it will end. You are dong a great service. God bless you.

+ Read More
Ben Brunson
36 months ago

I applaud your effort. The City of Topeka will forever be stained with the presence of Fred Phelps and "The Cult." We have enabled this group of haters too long and the WBC children are truly the ones that are forgotten.

+ Read More
Nichole Ireland
36 months ago

You are doing a great thing helping others see this "church" for what it is; a cult

+ Read More
Melissa Wigley
37 months ago

http://youtu.be/OoDY8ce_3zk

+ Read More
Jennifer Knollenberg
37 months ago

Shared the link. Great idea, hope it get's more and more coverage.

+ Read More
Carol Larson
37 months ago

Reading all of the donations and comments have brought me to tears. God Bless your efforts. I will be donating as soon as I can. I'll help spread the message.

+ Read More
James Carnahan
37 months ago

@jerrod None of us deserve grace, that is why it is called grace. It is the scandalous gift of God. What you said is legalistic and in opposition to what grace is. You my troll have missed the mark.

+ Read More
Miki Gain
37 months ago

I can't donate right now, but I will be praying about getting a job soon so I can. I have great respect for you and this is a good thing you are doing. I am so sorry you had to endure what you did. What WBC did and does is very wrong, but they don't actually represent God. I hope you can trust in Him and know the love He has for you (as He loves every person) unconditionally. *hugs*

+ Read More
Patricia Vaughn
37 months ago

Lauren...You are doing an awesome thing and truly working for the Lord. I am working on getting something together right now to help you out...I have a group that is working on it...If you would please send me a pm on FB I can give you details and ask you some questions. Please let me know.

+ Read More
Kelly Kathrineberg
37 months ago

@ Jerrod -- Everybody deserves redemption, even you. Sorry for whoever hurt you, I hope somebody can help you too, seriously.

+ Read More
Sarah Preston
37 months ago

@Jerrod - I know I'm probably just feeding a troll, but the vast majority of the WBC are born into it. It's all members of one huge family, and for a lot of people, cutting all ties with their family is hard, no matter how shitty their family is. Not only that, but these poor people are brainwashed from childhood into believing these shitty things, and those who question are either ostracised, or if they're young enough, beaten by Fred Phelps. It's a cult. It promises people safety and security in exchange for total control over their lives. They all deserve redemption, for they are all human, all capable of change, and all susceptable to brainwashing tactics. I see you using one of those symbols for equality and gay rights. Well, a huge part of gay rights includes understanding and tolerance, and your statement flies in the face of both.

+ Read More
Steve Meyers
37 months ago

@Jerrod- that's pretty shitty, and it seems to me that you're doing the same to her that the WBC does to others. You can only do so much when you're young. Stay awesome, Lauren.

+ Read More
Jerrod Shackelford
37 months ago

If you can be in that cult for even ten minutes, you don't deserve redemption.

+ Read More
Steven Sanudo
37 months ago

I'll be sharing the link to this on fb. We need to help those who've been chewed up and spat out by that church. Lets let them know that there are good people in this world, despite what they've been told!

+ Read More
Jaxon Rae
37 months ago

Don't ever give up Lauren! I can't donate at the moment, but I can spread the word!!! You have shown so much courage, and your light shines brightly- showing the REAL message that God wants us to hear- that he loves us, and will ALWAYS show us a way through the storm

+ Read More
  Use My Facebook Account
or
Or, use your email…
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
https://gofundme.com/Support-WBC-Escapees
or
 Send a Text Message
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now
 Share on Facebook