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Church Pays off $19 Million in Chicago Residents' Medical Debt

John Paluska | Contributor | Monday, September 14, 2020
Church Pays off $19 Million in Chicago Residents' Medical Debt

Church Pays off $19 Million in Chicago Residents' Medical Debt

A church in Chicago has raised over $100,000 to cover medical debt for the residents in the Chicago metro area. VIVE Chicago, a satellite church for the Chicago-area that is part of the VIVE church chain, is a nondenominational church that raised the money.

The church partnered with New-York-based non-profit RIP Medical Debt, which used the $100,000 donation to help pay off more than $19 million worth of medical debt.

The donation was part of an initiative called "For Chicago," which aims to pay off $78 million in debt for Chicago-area residents. The debt relief would go toward more than 71,000 residents' medical bills. VIVE Lead Pastor Adam Smallcombe said in a statement shared with The Christian Post that "As the church and as Christians, our mandate is to liberate people from all kinds of oppression because only free people can truly free people. That's why we felt as leaders it was necessary to bring this initiative to our church and they responded with bold faith and generosity.”

According to For Chicago's campaign website, "Today, thousands of families in Cook County are responsible for $78 million worth of harmful medical debt. This figure continues to grow in the midst of a crisis where so many require necessary and lifesaving – yet debilitatingly expensive – medical care. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, medical debt relief is more critical than ever."

RIP Medical Debt has reportedly partnered with churches around the country to help alleviate debt for residents countrywide. So far, over 1.8 million families have had their debt forgiven through more than $2.6 billion in donations. RIP Medical Debt's mission, according to their website, is to empower "donors to forgive billions in oppressive medical debt. We are dedicated to removing the burden of medical debt for individuals and families and veterans across America."


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Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Andrey Popov

John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.