RIP Medical Debt East Bay Campaign officially launched!

Our 9-church East Bay UCC consortium has already raised over $14,000 toward our goal of erasing ALL the medical debt available for purchase in Alameda and Contra Costa counties–$13,000 of it has come from First Church Berkeley alone! This is $1.4m of debt forgiven already, in the first week of our campaign! 

Every dollar you donate forgives $100 of your neighbor’s debt. It seems too good to be true, but RIP Medical Debt was started by two career debt collectors, who understand how the system works and have the relationships to buy debt for a penny on the dollar. 

We are still about $29,000 from our $44,000 goal. You can give each Sunday to the plate offering now through Good Friday, or online via Realm by choosing RIP Medical Debt in the dropdown menu. Your gifts will be tallied and included in your year-end tax statement. 

You can also invite your friends outside of church to give as well via Realm, or directly to our RIP campaign website here! Please post on social media, or make personal invitations to folks you know who might be sympathetic to this cause–particularly if they have had catastrophic medical crises themselves in the past. 

Carmen Baskette gave this testimony in last Sunday’s invitation to offering: 

“Can you imagine if your life had been ruined by bad medical debt or lack of good health insurance? I can. For those of you who don’t know, I have a life-threatening food allergy to dairy. Sometimes if I have a little tickle in my throat (a sign of a reaction) my parents might drive me to the hospital and we will all wait outside to see if it gets better or worse, because the ER always takes forever, and if we don’t need it, we would be wasting our time and a little bit of money, because we have good health insurance.

But imagine a child with allergies whose family does not have good insurance. If they had an allergy attack, the choice to go into the ER might mean there’s no dinner on the table the next night, or for many nights afterward. No parent should have to make that decision to keep their child alive. 

We can’t fix the whole system. But we can make it a little better with this campaign.”

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