Mount Pleasant’s Community Church paid off the medical debt of 1,476 individuals from 54 counties across Michigan. Graphic courtesy of Community Church
Last week, a donation from Mount Pleasant’s Community Church lifted the burden of medical debt from the shoulders of 1,476 individuals from 54 counties across Michigan, wiping out nearly $2 million in medical debts total.
A number of the individuals impacted by Community Church’s donation have reached out via email to express their gratitude and the ‘incredible relief’ they feel.
“The number one thing that we’ve heard from a lot of them is that ‘this was a debt that I couldn’t pay on my own,’” says Aaron Mora, the director of community engagement at Community Church. “The fact that a community of people could make an exponential impact is pretty exciting.”
This achievement is the result of a partnership between Community Church and the nonprofit, RIP Medical Debt. RIP Medical Debt negotiated with debt collectors so that portions of the total medical debt — which amounted to $1,947,787.21 — would be forgiven; the remaining amount of debt was then paid off by Community Church.
Individuals impacted by Community Church’s donation forgiving their medical debt have reached out via email to express their gratitude.
“This is a demonstration of part of our faith in the gospel,” says Mora. “We believe as Christians that there was a debt that we could not pay and this is a tangible representation of that.”
According to RIP Medical Debt, 66% of all US bankruptcies are tied to medical debt and everyday 79,000,000 Americans choose between paying their medical bills and covering basic needs such as food and housing.
The donation is part of Community Church’s Advance initiative, a two-year initiative that includes launching a new church campus in Alma, advancing the current ministry in Mount Pleasant and partnering with various organizations to make a meaningful impact locally and globally. The Advance initiative even includes the creation of a 12-step recovery program — another way Community Church hopes to positively impact the local community.
“The church is something that doesn’t just exist for itself, but as something that has a positive impact on the community,” says Mora. “Our hope would be that this is a demonstration of what people can do when they come together.”
Watch the moving video of Community Church making the announcement of this donation.