Letter: Church aims to eliminate medical debt for poor

Posted 4/2/20

To the editor:

The Mission and Justice Team of Barrington Congregational Church, United Church of Christ would like to inform our neighbors, especially other houses of worship in the area, that we …

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Letter: Church aims to eliminate medical debt for poor

Posted

To the editor:

The Mission and Justice Team of Barrington Congregational Church, United Church of Christ would like to inform our neighbors, especially other houses of worship in the area, that we have undertaken a campaign at our church to help eliminate the outstanding medical debt of people living at or below the poverty level in Southern New England.

This effort is being coordinated by the Southern New England Conference of the United Christ of Church (SNECUCC) which has asked Barrington Congregational, along with the other 600 churches in the conference, to contribute at least 1 percent of their annual budgets to help buy back medical debt through the organization RIP Medical Debt, a New York-based nonprofit.

RIP Medical Debt was founded in 2014 by two former debt collection executives, and since then the charity has raised over one billion dollars to buy large bundles of debt and has wiped out the debt of over 650,000 individuals and families.

Working with RIP, every $100 that the SNECUCC collects will be used to eliminate $10,000 in medical debt in some of the neediest communities in our region, including in Rhode Island.

Anyone who would like to contribute to this effort may send a check to BCCUCC at 461 County Road with “Medical Debt” in the memo line; or visit ripmedicaldebt.org. It would be appreciated if donations could arrive at the church by April 17, but they will be accepted anytime after that also.

Medical debt is an economic justice issue that causes people to cut back on necessities, lose needed medical services and sink deeper into poverty. Especially during the Coronavirus Crisis, this effort can help alleviate suffering in our region.

Helen Schall

Barrington

Ms. Schall is the chairwoman of The Mission and Justice Team at Barrington Congregational Church, United Church of Christ.

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