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About Our Fundraiser:

Peace Lutheran Church, ELCA, of Washington, MO, has served the Washington area, Franklin County and surrounding counties for over 35 years. Our congregation is dedicated to reaching out to our neighbors, as we live out our mission to be a community bound by Christ to break boundaries. We are announcing a new fundraising appeal during this season of Lent, in partnership with RIP Medical Debt, to help relieve medical debt in Franklin County and the neighboring counties of Warren, Washington, Gasconade, and Crawford, west of the St. Louis metro area. 

It is our hope that this effort will bring alive the message of Easter, making new life possible for families in our community who are burdened by the choice between paying down medical debt and paying for housing, utilities, and food.

The need for relief of medical debt in our area became even more urgent in 2017, when the Missouri legislature declined to extend access to Medicaid to Missourians. Since then, the Medicaid rolls have declined, leaving many children, in particular, without access to medical care. As the new reality of the coronavirus and its effects become clear, this need is sure to increase.

“I know from personal experience how paralyzing medical debt can be,” writes Kathy Hurlbert, a member of Peace. “My husband died in 2012 after a hard-fought battle with cancer. At the worst moment in my life, I came across a bill for more than $20,000 among his papers. This happened even though he had access to Medicare. At first, I had no idea what to do with this bill—I was terrified. Fortunately, he had a small life insurance policy that my father had sold him more than 40 years ago, and I was able to use it to settle the bill. Many of our neighbors are not so lucky and are overwhelmed by crushing medical expenses that they cannot realistically hope to repay.”

We invite you to join Peace Lutheran and RIP Medical Debt in our effort to help our neighbors with overwhelming medical debt.


RIP Medical Debt’s Solution: RIP Medical Debt uses donations to purchase bundled medical debt portfolios that have gone through collection agencies for months or years. Using third-party credit data providers, it targets debt incurred by people facing financial hardship, and then forgives it. On average, $1 is leveraged to abolish $100 in medical debt.

Please see the full RIP FAQ below and visit www.ripmedicaldebt.org for more information. 


Want to make a donation by cash or check?

Please mail to to any cash or check (payable to "RIP Medical Debt") to the address below and make sure to notate on the memo line or letter that your gift is designated to "Killing Debt Campaign."

RIP Medical Debt  80 Theodore Fremd Ave. Rye, NY 10580 

Who is RIP Medical Debt? RIP Medical Debt (RIP) is a national 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to empower donors to forgive the billions of dollars in oppressive medical debt at pennies on the dollar. RIP locates, buys, and abolishes destructive medical debt for individuals, veterans, and families. Since inception in 2014, RIP has relieved more than $600 million in medical debt for individuals across the U.S., impacting over 250,000 individuals.

How Does RIP Medical Debt Work? RIP, working with third-party credit data providers, searches through large debt portfolios to locate accounts meeting their criteria for relief. RIP then negotiates to buy millions of dollars of this debt at a steep discount, usually a penny or less on the dollar.

Facts about Medical Debt

  • 42.9 million Americans have unpaid medical bills, which creates an adverse impact on debtor patients, physicians, and hospitals (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)
  • Six in 10 of both insured and uninsured people say they have difficulty in paying other bills as a result of medical debt. Over a third were unable to pay for food, heat or housing because of medical bills. (Kaiser Family Foundation & New York Times)
  • Nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults under age 65, or 116 million people, had medical bill problems or debt, went without needed care because of cost, were uninsured for a time or were underinsured — insured but had high out-of-pocket medical expenses or deductibles relative to income. (Kaiser Family Foundation & New York Times)
  • Medical debt contributes to more than 60 percent of the bankruptcies in the U.S. Until satisfied, debt lingers on a person’s credit report to negatively impact their ability to buy a home, get a loan or even gain employment. (The American Journal of Medicine)

Whose unpayable medical bills does RIP forgive?

  • Individuals who make less than 2 times the federal poverty level
  • Individuals with financial hardship - 5% or more of their annual income goes to out-of-pocket medical expenses
  • Individuals who are insolvent (debts greater to their assets)

Why Donate to RIP Medical Debt?

  • Your dollar goes a long way! On average, $1 abolishes $100 of debt.
  • 100 percent of your donation goes towards abolishing medical debt.
  • RIP Medical Debt is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, and our EIN number is 47-1442997. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
  • We have specific programs for veterans and active service members of the US military.
  • There are no tax consequences for those whose medical debts are forgiven. The forgiveness is a gift from a detached and disinterested third party (RIP) is an act of generosity, so forgiveness of the
  • does not count as being income to the gift recipient.

RIP Medical Debt's Federal Tax ID: 47-1442997

Disclaimer: In the event that a campaign is unable to meet RIP Medical Debt's local campaign contribution goal, all funds will be attributed to our national funds for general or veteran medical debt.

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