Inspired by other UCC congregations in Chicago, St. Louis and around the nation, nine UCC churches in the East Bay, including our own, are working together to erase the medical debts of our neighbors in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.
Medical debt destroys the financial stability of large segments of America’s most vulnerable communities: the sick, the elderly, the poor, and veterans and is a primary cause of homelessness. It also targets the middle class, driving many families who are barely getting along into poverty. By forgiving this debt we strive to give struggling individuals and their families a fresh start, and prevent new cases of homelessness amongst our neighbors.
Our local campaign will be made possible by an extraordinary non-profit organization called RIP Medical Debt, founded in 2014 by two former debt collections executives. Over the course of decades in the debt-buying industry, they met with thousands of Americans saddled with unpaid and un-payable medical debt and realized they were uniquely qualified to help these people in need. They used their expertise and compassion to create a process to forgive medical debt: they would use donations to buy large bundles of medical debt, and then forgive that debt with no tax consequences to donors or recipients.
The results have been spectacular— over $1 billion in medical debts eradicated so far, providing financial relief for over 520,000 individuals and families.
The best part is how cheaply we can buy the debt: for literally one penny on the dollar. Our goal is to raise, throughout Lent and culminating on Good Friday, $40,000 to retire $4 million in medical debt in the East Bay.
If you would like to make a lead gift to get our campaign underway (remember: every dollar given forgives $100 of debt!), please email Rev. Molly at [email protected].
You can give online at https://onrealm.org/fccb/-/give/now by selecting “RIP Medical Debt” from the drop-down menu.