Church Members Pay Off Over $2.6 Million in Medical Debt for Nearly 2,400 Families
Medical debt plagues countless of families in the United States alone, and for many people, those debts only continue to grow.
A church in northern Texas decided to combat some of these crippling debts recently by paying off medical bills for thousands of families.
The nearly 2,400 families that received the loan forgiveness last month were also sent a heartfelt letter from Lake Pointe Church, which was responsible for organizing the incredible act of kindness.
“We are pleased to inform you that you no longer owe the balance on the debt referenced above to the above provider,” Pastor Josh Howerton said, reading aloud the letter to KDFW.
“Our forgiveness of the amount you owe is a no-strings-attached gift. You no longer have any obligation to pay this debt to anyone at any future time,” Howerton said.
After discovering that 60 percent of bankruptcies in the U.S. are attributed at least in part to medical debt, church leaders decided that they needed to take action.
Many of the families receiving this gift are below the poverty line, and some are even veterans.
“This week when everybody wakes up and they get the letter that says their debt has been canceled, we want them to know that we love them,” Howerton told KDFW last month. “We also want them to know they’re loved by God.”
Not only is the church helping pay off debts, but they are also contacting creditors in order to restore the credit of the families affected, giving them a new beginning in more than one way.
Thanks to the combined donations throughout Lake Pointe Church’s network of over 12,000 members across multiple campuses, nearly $2.7 million worth of medical bills were paid off.
The church is partnering with RIP Medical Debt, an organization that buys millions of dollars worth of medical debt in order to forgive the loans entirely, Howerton told ABC News.
Craig Antico, chief operating officer and co-founder of RIP Medical Debt, told ABC that the church reached out this pay May asking to collaborate.
Since the organization’s founding in 2014, 68 churches have raised funds to aid in the loan forgiveness program, and the number continues to grow.
This generosity project is a part of Lake Pointe’s “Pay It Forward” campaign, which celebrates the 4oth anniversary of the church and is meant to inspire others to give back to the community.
“We just feel like God has been so generous to us. We wanted to take our 40th anniversary to celebrate that in an outpouring of generosity to other people,” Howerton told KDFW.
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