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Local church pays off $2.2 million of medical debt for strangers

The Summit Church in Lee’s Summit has helped erase $2.2 million in medical debt.

“Medical debt is different than just paying off someone’s credit-card debt,” church member Kyle Mallott said. “It’s not self-inflicted; nobody is doing anything to get sick. It’s not just the uninsured that it’s impacting; it’s also those who are underinsured. It’s a financial hardship that so many endure.”

By partnering with RIP Medical Debt, Mallott’s dream of eliminating debt became a reality. The nonprofit organization works with debt collectors to buy the debt of those at or near the poverty level. The debt payments often affect the most vulnerable members of society — the sick, the elderly, the poor and veterans.

READ: Columbia church pays off medical debt

Summit Church attendees gave generously when presented with this opportunity to help those in need.

“Showing generosity and providing a version of grace to those that need it, that’s a picture of God’s glory,” Mallott said. “That’s what God wants to see from his followers, whether it’s in the form of medical debt or donating to a food pantry. It’s showing people that God loves them.”

Recipients of the debt forgiveness will receive a letter that their debt has been paid. With the medical debts being paid, more than 1,500 families in the Kansas City area will have a fresh start. The debt relief couldn’t have come at a better time.

“Many churches are known for who or what they are against; The Summit is known for who we are for – the hungry, the sick, those living in poverty. Medical debt is a crushing burden for so many people, especially in this time of pandemic,” Lead Pastor Jim Preisig said. “We are committed to making a difference in their lives — offering comfort and support.”

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice

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