KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A church in the Northland recently helped wipe out more than a half million dollars in medical debt for hundreds of people in the metro.
Northside Christian Church on NW Old Pike Road is a body of faith that believes in extending hope.
“Even when times look uncertain, God isn’t,” senior pastor Jeremy Eubanks said. “I think during this time, humanity shines through, so we want to be a part of that.”
Every year, the congregation of about 175 members collects an offering and donates all of it to help people in need. This year, their goal was to help reduce medical debt in Kansas City.
“There are people who are just saddled with debt and medical debt they just can’t get out of and we know healthcare is kind of broken in this country,” Eubanks said. “It’s expensive and there’s a lot of inequality.”
They partnered with RIP Medical Debt, a New York-based nonprofit, helping to erase and forgive $573,700 of debt for 271 people in Cass, Clay, Johnson and Platte counties. Those, whose debt was abolished, will receive a letter in the mail from RIP Medical Debt informing them of the fact.
“I want people who get those letters, not to think it’s a scam or part of their stimulus money,” Eubanks said.
“We’re all one illness or accident away from ruin,” said Craig Antico, the co-founder of RIP Medical Debt.
Antico co-founded the organization after working as debt collector. RIP Medical Debt’s entire operation is donation-based. They buy peoples debts directly from hospitals.
One dollar, on average, can erase $100 worth of debt. Northside Christian Church donated more than $5,000 to the group. Donors have the option to help those in debt based on geography, demographics, profession or ailments.
“We’re not able to buy all the debt, so we’re focusing on people that have the most hardship or the lowest income because they’re the ones it seems to get hit the most,” Antico explained.
Pastor Eubanks said during uncertain times, it’s important to remind people there is hope and “this too shall pass.”
“Whether you’re a part of our congregation or not, we just want you to know you’re not alone and we’re here for you,” he said
RIP Medical Debt recently started a new campaign. It’s focused specifically on helping healthcare workers and emergency responders, facing financial hardships due to COVID-19. CLICK HERE