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Michigan church partners with nonprofit to wipe $1.8M in medical debt clean for nearly 2,000 families


The kind of generosity churches should be known for

Grand Rapids First pastor Sam Rijfkogel. (Image source: MLive video screenshot)

Nearly 2,000 families in Michigan have no idea that within a week, all their medical debts will be paid off thanks to Grand Rapids First Church in Wyoming, Michigan, according to MLive.

The church partnered with an organization called RIP Medical Debt to wipe clean $1,832,439.26 in medical debt belonging to 1,899 randomly selected families.

"We don't know who these people are," Grand Rapids First Pastor Sam Rijfkogel told MLive. "They may be a God-lover or a God-hater, we don't know what their race is, we don't know what their socioeconomic status is, we don't know what their degree is. But none of that matters. Here is this debt forgiveness, it's free. No strings attached."

One of the recipients will have a debt of $75,581 completely paid off.

How are they doing this?

Grand Rapids First worked with RIP Medical Debt, a nonprofit organization, and purchased the debt for pennies on the dollar. Grand Rapids purchased the $1.8 million in debt with a $15,000 donation.

"Medical debt is an indiscriminate peril for Americans, and we feel fortunate to bring relief to West Michigan," RIP Medical Debt co-founder Craig Antico said. "RIP is always extremely grateful to partner with faith-based organizations on debt relief initiatives for those in need. Working on the community level means RIP's outsized impact is felt even more acutely."

Those 1,899 families will receive their blessing in the form of a letter, which some people might even think is too good to be true:

"We are pleased to inform you that you no longer owe the balance on the debt referred above to the above provider... This debt has been canceled and eradicated with funds donated by Grand Rapids First church in Wyoming Michigan. Our forgiveness of the amount you owe is a no-strings-attached gift. You no longer have any obligation to pay this debt to anyone at any further time. Because this debt has been canceled as a gift by a nonprofit organization, you do not owe any taxes on the cancellation of debt income."

Church helps forgive $1.8M in medical debtyoutu.be

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