(NEWSWEEK) – A church in Michigan has received enough donations to cover the medical bills of nearly 2,000 families in need.
Grand Rapids First Church in Wyoming, Michigan, purchased more than $1.8 million worth of medical debt for "less than a penny on the dollar."
"There are people whose medical debt, they cannot pay. There is no way. It's looming over their head," pastor Sam Rijfkogel said in Sunday's sermon. "Most of these folks are at poverty level or below poverty level and there's no way that it can be repaid, but they feel the creditor banging on their doors."
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With $15,000 in contributions, the church partnered with RIP Medical Debt, a 501(c)(3) charity that has abolished $584 million in medical debt for about 240,000 Americans.
"Today, that $1,832,439.26 that [was] looming over families right now – those families that are living in poverty rates or less – has been paid in full as a result of a gift from this church," said Rijfkogel, who added that they were able to help 1,899 local families from around Michigan.