Worthington church to pay off $1.5 million in medical debt

Local News

WORTHINGTON, Ohio (WCMH) — A holiday miracle for Central Ohio families in debt.

The Worthington Presbyterian Church will pay $1.5 million worth of medical debt for families in need.

The announcement was made during the church’s Christmas Eve services.

Pastor Julia Wharff Piermont said the members were very excited.

“At one service, people broke into applause,” she said. “Everyone is happy. This is a congregation that’s very mission-minded. Really want to make a difference, really want to use our blessings to be a blessing for others,” said Piermont.

Piermont and the church are doing that by donating $15,000 to an organization called RIP Medical Debt.

“That organization was started by two former debt collectors who learned how you buy debt from insolvent debt and go after trying to collect on the debt. They decided to turn that work into better purposes,” said Piermont.

The non-profit uses donations and buys debt for pennies on the dollar.

That debt is then forgiven.

“There is $1.5 million worth of medical debt in Franklin County that meets their criteria. Their criteria has to do with families that are at a certain level of income related to the federal poverty level,” said Piermont.

Piermont said doing this was a no brainer. People are hurting and she said it’s everyone’s job to step up and help those in need if you can.

“The gospel is about bringing good news to the poor. Release to the captives. Owing money, debt is a kind of captivity,” said Piermont.

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