I told you earlier this week how our campaign to relieve medical debt inspired the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Saute, the north Georgia mountains, to do a similar campaign. They were able to relieve $2.6 million in medical debt for people in the area.
Our influence did not stop there. Dick and Ginny Harris told a good friend who is a member of the Temple about our campaign. She took the idea to her rabbis. This is the response:
On Rosh Hashanah our Temple began a medical debt forgiveness drive, a way of celebrating the sabbatical or Shmitah year. We told you then that a single dollar donated would be able to purchase, forgive, and erase $100 worth of medical debt for a person in the greater Metro Atlanta area. You, our Temple membership, were overwhelmingly generous and donated more than $75,000 dollars! It was enough to purchase and forgive millions of dollars worth of debt. As the Macabee’s before us, our faith has been rewarded and our willingness to illuminate the world has caused our resources to be magnified exponentially.
The Temple Clergy Team is proud to announce that our partnership with RIP Medical Debt has purchased all of the debt that was for sale in DeKalb and Clayton counties, given an incredible gift to 10,746 families in our city, and we have forgiven $13,688,548.45!
I think this is how the Spirit works, moving from person to person, group to group, letting one inspire another. St. Dunstan’s, Resurrection, and the Temple have collectively relieved $22.4 million in medical debt for some of the poorest families in our communities. And let’s not forget that it was an article about the campaign at St. Luke’s in BIrmingham that inspired me to take the idea of the RIP Medical Debt campaign to the vestry in January of 2020. Generosity and kindness, God’s Spirit at work, is contagious!
The service sheet for tomorrow is attached. Hope to see you in person or online.