TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler has extended a hand of generosity by clearing millions of dollars of medical debt for nearly 5,000 Smith County families, according to a release from the church.

“I know that there are many families in Smith County who are struggling under staggering medical debt. Our members generously donated money to allow us to bless them through RIP Medical Debt. The reason we did this is to communicate to these families that they are deeply loved by God.” 

David Dykes, Pastor

RIP Medical Debt is a nonprofit organization that allows donors and organizations to erase debt of Americans “whose lives have been destroyed.”

RIP randomly buys medical debt accounts for those who are: two times or below the federal poverty level, insolvent and/or with debts that are 5% or more of their gross annual income. RIP cannot currently help specific people with their debts.

Dykes said that back in August, member of Green Acres Baptist Church began donating towards the program under the KINDNESS25:40 initiative.

The program’s mission is to “connect people with God’s love through acts of kindness.” The initiative is based on the passage from the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 25, Verse 40: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

The church donated $45,102 during the month of August. RIP purchases the medical debt bundled into large portfolios for pennies on the dollar. Due to this, $1 donated to RIP relieve an average of $100 of medical debt.

Dykes also encouraged members of Smith County to “keep their eyes peeled” for branded, yellow envelopes from RIP in their mailboxes. If you receive one, it will mean some or all of their medical debt has been canceled.

Letters will be sent out September 6.