NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A local church has joined in an effort to help payoff the medical bills of Middle Tennesseans, and with a simple donation, millions of dollars of debt has been erased.
In 2019, NewsChannel 5 partnered with the non-profit RIP Medical Debt. With $35,000 of donations, $15,000 from NewsChannel 5 and another $20,000 donated from viewers, NewsChannel 5 has wiped out $4 million in medical debt for more than 1,000 people across Middle Tennessee.
It turns out, NewsChannel 5 wasn't the only organization trying to help Tennesseans who are drowning in medical debt. The Belonging Co. church in Nashville also donated $47,000 to RIP Medical Debt in their own giving initiative. That donation wiped out nearly $5 million in medical bills for folks across Middle Tennessee.
Medical debt is often the number one cause of bankruptcy for residents in Tennessee. The Belonging Co. is hoping their donation helps those in need who may not even know they're debt is negatively impacting their credit history.
"We hope it give people a peace of mind and take the burden off of their shoulders," said Matt Cross who serves at Business Manager for the church.
"We’re responding to need that is measurable, it’s tangible and it’s something where we know we’re gonna make a real impact on people’s lives," he added.
The church is hoping to make an even bigger donation to RIP Medical Debt in 2020.