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$24,000 raised = $2,400,000 of medical debt forgiven!

We have a big idea and we can’t do it alone.

This holiday season, The Mystery Hour wants to give back to the community in a big way. Since we can’t afford to Go Full Oprah and buy you all a car (yet), we’re trying something else. 

This starts with a bummer, sorry, but it gets better: Too many of our neighbors can’t pay off their medical debt, sometimes dealing with predatory collection agencies on top of struggling to make ends meet. In this country? In our state? (BUMMER!)

The good news is: We can all help. We’re partnering with an organization called RIP Medical Debt, whose mission is to provide financial relief for people burdened by unpaid and unpayable medical bills.

We can tell you more details about how it works, but here’s the short story: If we can raise ~$24,000, we’ll help forgive ~$2.4 million in debt for people most in need in 15 Ozarks counties. Together, we can do this. One small donation at a time. Talk about a Christmas miracle! 

So that’s what we are trying to do. November 30 - December 31. Sound like something you want to do, too? Visit themysteryhour.com/forgive-a-thon to learn more and donate.


FAQ

How are you possibly doing this? 

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We’re partnering with RIP Medical Debt, a non-profit organization founded in 2014, that purchases medical debt for pennies on the dollar, allowing individuals and organizations to donate and help eliminate debt for others. 

The programs assists people who need it most:

  • Earn less than 2x the federal poverty level (varies by state, family size).

  • Debts are 5 percent or more of annual income.

  • Facing insolvency — debts are greater than assets.

A hand-up like this could make all the difference for families, the elderly, or veterans who need help the most. (Something about helping the least of these, right? That has a ring to it. Write that down.) 


What are you doing?

From November 30 through December 31, 2019, The Mystery Hour is trying to raise $24,000, which will go directly to forgiving ~$2.4 in medical debt for people in the Ozarks who need help the most. 

If you’re thinking: “Sure. That sounds like some George Bailey end-of-the-movie level too-good-to-be-true stuff.” You’re right! But it’s real! Talk about a Christmas miracle!

Why are you doing this?

The short answer is simple: It feels like the right thing to do. The long answer gets a little more philosophical. Here at The Mystery Hour, we believe the message “Make Something Where You Are,” which speaks to our broader philosophy of creating community. 

As the show has grown over the last 9 seasons, so has our reach, and with it our desire to make a positive impact and be a force for good in our community. This is just one of many good causes you can give to, we know, but this one is close to our heart, so we’re starting here. We know we can’t fix everything, but if we can help with this problem: Why not?!

Missouri happens to be one of the states where companies (not healthcare organizations) can acquire and collect on medical debt without a license. So the population of people we’re trying to help is especially vulnerable to predatory debt collectors. (Not today, Scrooge!)

Is this organization legit? 

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They sure are! We wondered the same thing. You can read all about it on their website. Or watch Jeff’s interview with (NAME) below. 

What is this, some kind of government bailout?

Pretty much the opposite, actually. One argument we’ve heard against government social programs goes something like, “we (citizens, churches, non-government organizations) should take care of this ourselves. Help each other out.” So, here we are: Helping each other out. Cool, huh? 

How can I help?

We’re so glad you asked! There are 3 important things you can do:

  1. Donate. Give what you can, if you can.

  2. Share. Post the link and a personal message on your social channels and help us spread the word. 

  3. Create. We’d love to see you find creative ways to raise some funds! We’re talkin’ bear costume bake sales. We’re talkin’ late night lemonade stands. We’re talkin’ donut shop dance-a-thons. If you’re (xyz), we want to see it! 

 

Where can I learn more?

  • This story from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is a worthwhile 20 minutes to spend, if you want to better understand RIP Medical Debt and the problem with medical debt in America in general. 

  • Columbia - The Crossing Church (story)

  • RIP Medical Debt website