October 2021 – In Santa Fe, New Mexico, St. Bede’s Episcopal Church helped pay off the medical debts of 782 needy families in New Mexico and Arizona. St. Bede’s initially raised $15,000 by setting aside 10% of its weekly incoming donations to outreach programs. Partnering with RIP, a debt recovery group based in Rye, New York, the St. Bede’s gift of $15,000 helped clear $1,380,119.87 in medical debts.
A non-profit organization founded by two former debt collectors, RIP identifies households with insolvent medical debt whose incomes are less than twice the poverty level. Then, acting much like a collection agency, RIP buys the individual’s debt at a fraction of face value and pays it off using donations from people such as the congregants of St. Bede’s.
“It’s great to know that we do more with our donations than just serve our own church,” said one parishioner. “We reach out to our local community and all over the world.”
episcopalnewsservice.org, 7/9/21; cnb.com, 7/14/21