A Southern California church is wiping out over $5.3 million in medical debt for thousands of low-income families as a Christmas gift.
“Because of the generosity of the people at Christian Assembly Church, we are able to give a Christmas gift to the people of Los Angeles, no strings attached,” Tom Hughes, the church’s co-pastor, said in a video about the gift. “There are 5,555 people that will benefit from this and they will all be receiving letters in the mail this week.”
With the help of the nonprofit organization RIP Medical Debt, the church said that it was able to eliminate $5.3 million in medical debt with the donation.
They also chose the poorest families in 28 Los Angeles neighborhoods that were most impacted by medical debt for the program.
“I would love to be a fly on the wall for someone who’s receiving a notification like this,” Blythe Hill, one of the church’s members told ABC7.
Hughes said that the church hopes to also work with credit agencies to repair credit scores for families who were affected by unpaid bills.
Hughes said that only the billing companies will know exactly who is on the list and also said each of the 28 neighborhoods where debt was paid off is home to more than 15 active church members, ABC News reported.
“God is for you and we are excited to share this gift of generosity because of the generosity of our God,” Hughes said. “As they recover from their illness, it will help them get back on their feet and avoid homelessness.”
— Christian Assembly (@CAchurchLA) 23 December 2019