A nondenominational church campus in Illinois raised money to help pay off nearly $20 million in medical debt for residents. The church partnered with a New York-based nonprofit organization to alleviate thousands of families drowning in health expenses.
VIVE Chicago, one of many campuses across the country under the same name, collected $100,000 to help pay off local resident’s medical bills, according to a statement obtain by The Christian Post.
VIVE collaborated with RIP, which was able to use the church’s charitable donation to eliminate roughly $20 million of medical debt in Cook County in Chicago.
Last November, VIVE’s lead pastors, Adam and Keira Smallcombe, shared with church members their vision to help pay off medical debt suffocating millions of people nationwide.
The Smallcombe’s learned that they could exponentially multiply their contributions toward medical debt if they partnered with RIP Medical Debt.
“For many people, severe financial debt is a type of modern-day slavery. It imprisons whole families and even generations into a cycle of poverty,” Smallcombe said.
“As the church, 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. They responded with bold faith and generosity,” he added.
VIVE Chicago’s Campus Pastor Adam Hahn echoed the leaders of the sister church located in Palo Alto, California.
“While there are still many unknowns in our community, one thing we do know is that freedom is for everyone. We simply want to remind people that [we see them]. Every person has full access to grace,” he said.
VIVE’s donation is part of a larger initiate called For Chicago. It aims to completely eradicate $78 million in medical debt for around 71,000 families in Cook County.
“Every day, medical debt destroys the financial stability, health, and well-being of Americans across the country. Especially now… families in Cook County are not only losing their jobs, but also their health insurance,” the website says.
“For families with no income or insurance at this time, paying medical debt is not only impossible – but irresponsible – with so many other survival needs to cover.”
As of Tuesday morning, the campaign has raised $225,744 out of a goal of $300,000.
RIP has partnered with several churches over the years with the goal of raising money to abolish medical debt. The nonprofit absorbs medical debt for pennies on the dollar and forgives the debt so those effected sustain no expenses.
In 2019, numerous Chicago-area churches collected enough money to eliminate approximately $5.3 million in medical debt. This freed roughly 6,000 families from the burden of unpaid bills.