(Meredith) -- An Indiana church helped pay off $7.8 million in medical debt for nearly 6,000 families across the state.
Northview Church teamed up with RIP Medical Debt, a New York-based organization, and leveraged more than $40,000 in donations to wipe out the unpaid medical bills.
RIP Medical Debt negotiates with hospitals, doctors and even investors to purchase debt at pennies on the dollar.
"The debt is then paid off forever, with no adverse consequences to those who benefit," Northview said in a statement.
The church, which has seven campuses in Indiana, initially raised $20,000 to wipe out $2 million in medical debt for 2,500 families. After Northview announced the debt elimination plan in June, other churches decided to join the cause.
The donations more than doubled and helped Northview erase $7.8 million in medical debt for 5,940 families who live in 10 Indiana communities. Those communities include Indianapolis, Anderson, Carmel, Fishers, Flora, Kokomo, Lafayette, northern Putnam County, Peru, and Westfield.
“This is a great example of churches meeting people’s needs in practical ways, as a demonstration of God’s love,” said Steve Poe, Northview’s senior pastor.
The church said some recipients are not connected with Northview and will be surprised to get a letter in the mail about the canceled debt.