A church in New Mexico was able to clear nearly $1.4 million in medical debt for 782 families.

St. Bede’s Episcopal Church in Santa Fe, New Mexico, teamed up with RIP Medical Debt (RIP), an organization that uses donations in order to relieve medical debt for families and individuals across the country. Because collection agencies realize that the debt is unlikely to be paid, RIP is able to purchase the debt at a fraction of the cost, so for “pennies on the dollar,” even small donations can greatly affect individuals struggling with these payments. RIP explains, “Every $100 you donate relieves $10,000 in Medical Debt.”

With a grant of $15,000, the church was able to cancel $1,380,119.87 in medical debt for 782 families in New Mexico and Arizona. The payment in New Mexico “includes all the available debt in New Mexico,” according to the Episcopal News Service (emphasis from the article).

St. Bede’s is not the first church to use RIP to serve their community. In 2019, The Crossing, a church in Columbia, Missouri, was able to erase over $43 million in medical debt in 31 counties of Missouri when its congregation raised $431,597.30. The Crossing called their donation a “Jubilee,” referencing the ancient Jewish practice where debts were forgiven every 50 years (Leviticus 25:8-55).

Valley Real Life, a church in Spokane, Washington, also partnered with RIP earlier this year, erasing $30 million for families in northwestern states. Many churches across the country have partnered with the organization since its inception in 2014. Since 2014, RIP has cleared over $4.5 billion in medical debt.

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