A Pay It Forward campaign led by Lake Pointe Church in North Texas has been able to pay off $2.6 million in medical debt for 2,400 families in Dallas and Rockwall counties.
The campaign, which began in May 2019, is designed to encourage community members to participate in acts of kindness in celebration of the church’s 40th anniversary.
“We wanted to celebrate our 40th anniversary by passing forward the generosity that has been given to us, to people in our communities,” Pastor Josh Howerton said.
To mark the milestone anniversary, the church also made contributions to local organizations tackling issues such as human trafficking, homelessness, and domestic violence, according to Howerton.
Letters with information regarding the medical debt being eliminated started going out to families in the middle of September, Howerton said.
The letter was sent to U.S. military veterans, those who make less than two times the federal poverty level, people for whom 5% percent or more of their annual income goes to paying medical bills, and people who have greater medical debt than assets.
Howerton said his church has around 12,000 members across multiple campuses, and he hopes this project inspires members to give back to their communities.
“We want our people to do one act of kindness per day for the next 40 days,” Howerton said. “So, if you do the math, that’s 40 days times 12,000 people and half-a-million needs met. That’s the vision we have for this campaign.”