I have received the final results of our RIP Medical Debt campaign. With our $55,000 we were able to eliminate medical debt for 4,003 Atlanta households, which amounted to $6.47 million of debt! The average debt per household was $1,600. Each of those households received a letter saying their debt had been forgiven by St. Dunstan’s.
I imagine that would be good news anytime, but especially now in the midst of the pandemic. Most of the households who receive this help live on the edge financially in the best of times. Now they are likely to be among those most affected financially by the pandemic. I hope receiving the letter that the medical debt had been forgiven brings them a bit of relief and hope, knowing that someone cares about them.
Since we began the RIP campaign on March 1, the first Sunday of Lent, we did not do our usual Lenten collection for the Msalata Theological School in Tanzania. For more years than I can remember we have collected money during Lent to send to them for the medical needs of the community. Although we did not do that this year, the vestry did vote to send $5,000 (the usual amount we send) to Msalata from our outreach endowment funds. That money is used to buy medicine, mosquito nets, glasses, and any other medical needs, as well as paying a nurse to be at the school each week.
Thank you for bringing hope to our neighbors in our city, and our neighbors across the globe.