On Jan. 30, Mountain Xpress published a commentary, “Debt Destroyers: Locals Launch Campaign to Relieve WNC Medical Debt.” The steering committee wants to let your readers know that our goal was met and surpassed! The Western North Carolina effort to raise money to pay off the eligible medical debt in 34 counties collected a total of $19,193, which not only pays off more than $1.5 million of debt for our neighbors but also almost $400,000 of medical debt of veterans.
Within the next few weeks, people all over Western North Carolina will receive yellow envelopes with letters telling them that their debts are paid off and that credit bureaus have been contacted to be sure that those debts are taken off their records. RIP Medical Debt, a nonprofit corporation, is handling the distribution of the funds.
The money was raised from large donors and from many small gifts. Groups at the League of Women Voters and Mindful Mornings passed the hat, donating $56 and $119, respectively. Hot Yoga Asheville had a donation day and raised over $1,200. Zapow! Gallery hosted a party, and donors got free beer (donated by UpCountry Brewing) and mugs for a donation. In addition to the money raised at the party, patrons of Zapow! Gallery raised over 900 additional dollars. A celebration party was held at the Farm at Green Heron Pond; generous contributions to the party were made by Twisted Laurel, Celine and Company, Stargazers Designs and Whole Foods.
In addition to the commentary in Mountain Xpress, the effort received news coverage by WLOS and AVLtoday, all of which helped to make this a communitywide effort.
The steering committee wants to thank all who contributed and those who spread the word about this important effort.
— Linda Connor Kane
Bob and Amy Wise at the Farm at Green Heron Pond
Zapow! Gallery, all WNC