Colorado church pays off $1.5 million in medical debt for low-income families

The church said the recipients are picked randomly but are those who are most in need.

BRIGHTON, Colo. — A Colorado church is making it a little easier for more than a thousand families struggling this Christmas.

Orchard Church paid off $1.5 million worth of medical debt for people across the Rocky Mountain region. Buying the debt for a fraction of the price, the gift will give 1,000 low-income families a fresh start from the debt they had built up.

"I think they’re going to feel a huge sense of relief, gratitude, freedom. I think it’s going to be amazing. A celebration hopefully for them," said Doug Dameron, the pastor at the church in Brighton. "We are paying off $1.5 million for families this Christmas that we may never meet, they’ve never met us. Just to show them that we care about them and that Christmas is about giving with no strings attached."

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The church worked with a charitable organization called RIP Medical Debt to purchase the debt at a lower rate to help pay off the money.

"They have this debt hanging over them. They have no possible way to pay it themselves. They’re helpless and hopeless," Dameron said.

"We donated $15,000 which paid off $1.5 million in medical debt. They’re going to receive a letter this Christmas and the first of the year that says their debt has been completely removed, it’s been paid in full by a donation from Orchard Church."

The people who will have this debt paid off will be notified sometime over the next couple of weeks through the mail. That means most of them still don’t know they’ve been chosen.

The church said the recipients are picked randomly but are those who are most in need.