First-Plymouth Congregation Church noticed that medical debt was burdening many families within the local community to the point that it was hard to ignore the problem.
“We’re hearing about people who who [sic] cannot pay the light bill because they have this medical debt, or we’re having trouble finding food for their table because of this medical debt,” Associate Pastor Juan Carlos Huertas told KETV 7. “We’re learning that [sic] that’s happening too often.”
In March, the church set out a goal to raise $8,000 to pay off medical debt within the community, the Lincoln Journal-Star noted. Since then, the church has raised over $270,000 with a goal of raising another $8,000 by the end of summer.
To find the best possible way to help, the church teamed up with a debt collection agency that would give them anonymous profiles of households with medical debt, which the church would help alleviate.
The program’s success inspired an anonymous donor to pay for debt forgiveness in Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota. “Since it’s over a region, they were able to get a massive discount which ended up in over a million dollars in medical debt relief,” KETV 7 reported.
Households who had their medical debt paid off have expressed gratitude toward Church leaders and the congregation for their generosity.
“We’ve had people walk over the church with tears in their eyes and say, I can’t believe this happened,” Senior Pastor Jim Keck told KETV 7. “Just out of nowhere. I get a letter that says my medical debt is gone. Thank you and thank God,”