"We always think about what does it mean to be a good neighbor." And thousands of families in desperate need were able to experience the kindness of their good neighbors.
Carrying the burden of debt, trying desperately to save an extra penny, and worrying when you can finally clear it all off can put an entire family under great stress. Recently, almost 6,000 families going through a situation like this had a heavyweight lifted off their chest.
Roughly 5,940 families from different communities received an unexpected mail, informing them they no longer had to worry about their debt in unpaid medical bills, all thanks to members of the Northview Church.
Owing to the efforts of the Indiana church, $7.8 million in medical debt was wiped out for people across the state. They were even able to clear off the medical debt for entire cities in one go, according to a statement released by the Northview Church.
The church was able to help out thousands of more families than they had initially planned. "This is a great example of churches meeting people’s needs in practical ways as a demonstration of God’s love," said Steve Poe, Northview’s Senior Pastor.
Even individuals who are not connected to Northview became recipients and are no longer burdened by the weight of debt because of the selflessness of several donors. The statement added, "Recipients are not necessarily connected with Northview Church and will be surprised to receive beneficiary letters in the mail in the coming few weeks, communicating about the canceled debt."
The church has seven campuses in Indiana and, according to FOX5 Vegas, they were able to raise funds for 10 communities—Indianapolis, Peru, Carmel, Fishers, Anderson, Flora, Kokomo, Lafayette, Westfield, and northern Putnam County.
The church was able to do this by joining hands with an organization called RIP Medical Debt, based in New York. "Northview Church is partnering with RIP Medical Debt, a New York-based charity, to erase the medical debt. RIP Medical Debt takes donations – like the ones from Northview Church – to purchase debt at pennies on the dollar," the statement said. "The debt is then paid off forever, with no adverse consequences to those who benefit."
Initially, the church aimed at alleviating the debt for 2,500 families and covering $2 million of medical debt.
At the time, the church had put up a post on Instagram when they reached $2 million, saying, "Thank you Northview for your generosity! It’s amazing what can happen when we all give a few bucks! At Northview, four times a year we ask people to give a dollar to the Dollar Club. We put this money together and do something out-of-the-box for our community."
But the movement was nowhere near coming to an end. As news started spreading, the donations increased momentum. With more people joining the support and more churches joining the effort, donations poured in and they were able to reach the mark of $7.8 million in medical debt.
For members of the church, it was all about carrying forward the idea of being a good, concerned neighbor. "We always think about what does it mean to be a good neighbor," said John Smith, a pastor at Northview's Fisher campus, who spoke to CNN in June 2019. "It turned into something much bigger, not because of me, but because I said 'yes'."
Initiatives like this have been making a massive difference in the lives of people who are desperate for the extra help. The Pathway Church, adding to their celebration of Easter, 2019, was also able to erase the debt for 1,600 families in Kansas.
With many people willing to take part in activities like this, they have made lives so much easier for thousands of families.