The Eastside Baptist Church congregation raised enough money to cancel more than $2.9 million dollars in medical debt for 1,516 families in Cobb County and surrounding communities in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The East Cobb church started their “Knock-Out Medical Debt” campaign in March with a passion to make a major impact on their local community. By partnering with the nonprofit organization RIP Medical Debt, they were able to do just that

RIP leverages on average one dollar in donations to pay off $100 in medical debt for individuals whose bills have gone through collection agencies for months and years. With Eastside’s campaign kicking-off at about the same time as the start of the pandemic in Georgia, its congregation didn’t shy away from the challenge. In fact, they surpassed their goal of $15,000 and went on to collect more than $17,000.

Lead Pastor, Dr. John Hull, was not surprised at the congregation’s generosity, “We want the community to know that God loves them, we love them, and that we are here for them. That God sees them, and their needs are important to us. To be able to take such a burden off of the shoulders of our neighbors living below the poverty level was a no-brainer.”

RIP Medical Debt has sent out yellow envelopes to inform recipients of their canceled debt in cities across the Metro Atlanta area including Marietta, Atlanta, Smyrna, Austell, Mableton, Kennesaw, and Acworth, to name a few. In Marietta alone, 575 families will be told that $1.25 million in medical debt has disappeared. Hull said that in his many years of ministry, he has often seen how debt can weigh on families. “When we, as the local church, see a need, we need to step forward and meet it. I am honored to serve a church like Eastside that eagerly looks for ways, just like this, to care for and serve our Cobb County community.”

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