(TMU) — A Christian congregation in Southern California has prepared quite the Christmas surprise for thousands of people throughout Los Angeles who were mired in medical bills.
Christian Assembly Church in Eagle Rock is helping to wipe out $5.3 million of debt for over 5,000 people in 28 communities across the Southland in the latest example of churches making a strong effort toward serving their communities in a concrete manner.
Impacted households will receive notice in the mail just in time for the holidays.
Pastor Tom Hughes said:
“There is 5,555 people that will benefit from this and they will all be receiving letters in the mail this week.”
The church teamed up with RIP Medical Debt to help eliminate the unpaid medical bills of community members, according to KABC.
Letters from RIP Medical Debt will read “you no longer owe the balance” and “no strings attached.”
Church member Blythe Hill commented:
“I would love to be a fly on the wall for someone who’s receiving a notification like this.”
This weekend is going to be epic as we celebrate Christmas at Christian Assembly Church. And let’s just say the news…
Earlier this year, The Mind Unleashed reported that a church in Indiana had similarly wiped out the debt of over 6,000 families in the region through a partnership with RIP Medical Debt.
RIP, a non-profit based in New York, helps families suffering poverty or whose debt amounts to five percent or more than their income. Beneficiaries are informed through the program that their debt is simply wiped out with no strings attached.
Typically, when people are unable to pay off their medical bills, the bills are then transferred to collections agencies and the debt continues to grow. But when RIP Medical Debt steps in, they negotiate with hospitals, doctors, and investors to bundle the debt for entities like Christian Assembly at mere pennies on the dollar.
The church managed to raise roughly $50,000 over the past year, but members were kept in the dark about the purpose of the fundraising. Congregants are enthusiastic about the impact their tithes will have on low-income people across Los Angeles County, which has been plagued by high costs of living and exorbitant rent.
One woman commented:
“Just to open that envelope and be like, oh my gosh, my debt’s been paid.”
Thanks to privacy laws, only the billing company and those impacted will know who is on the list of those whose debt has been cleared.
And even those who mistake the notification letter for junk mail and trash it will still be debt-free.
Christian Assembly church leaders say that recipients will also see their credit ratings improve and an end to bill collectors attempting to contact them. Pastor Hughes added:
“God is for you and we are excited to share this gift of generosity because of the generosity of our God.”
Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]