Coastal Community Foundation, Affiliates Partner to Abolish More Than $4 Million in Local Medical Debt

Coastal Community Foundation and its affiliate organizations, Waccamaw Community Foundation, Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation, and the Jewish Endowment Foundation of South Carolina, announced a partnership to abolish more than $4 million in medical debt in the region. This is possible through a donation to RIP Medical Debt.

RIP Medical Debt is a national nonprofit that buys medical debt in bulk at a steep discount, for pennies on the dollar, eliminating debt for people living four times or below the federal poverty level or with debts that are 5% or more of their annual income. The donation will abolish debt for those eligible in CCF’s nine county footprint: Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, and Jasper counties.

The idea for the partnership came from Geales Sands, Executive Director of the Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation, who was inspired after reading about a CCF donor who made a significant impact across the state by donating to RIP Medical Debt with his year-end giving.

“Medical debt can be devastating,” said CCF President and CEO Darrin Goss. “At CCF we are dedicated to creating more opportunities for economic mobility in our region. We are proud to come together with our affiliate organizations and relieve this financial burden for members of our community.”

Thanks to the $33,717 donation from CCF and its affiliates, $3.14 million in medical debt will be erased in this first round of relief. As RIP Medical Debt acquires more debt in the area, additional debt relief will follow with the remaining donated funds. This will likely be an additional $1 million in face value medical debt relief.

“We’re grateful to this coalition of organizations, led by Coastal Community Foundation, for their commitment to lessening the financial and emotional burden of medical debt on their neighbors,” shares RIP Medical Debt CEO and President Allison Sesso.  “These debts force people to make impossible decisions between food and medicine, between seeking necessary medical care or keeping a roof over their heads. This campaign will help thousands of people by providing a lifeline and reminding them that someone cares.”

Recipients of debt relief are source based, meaning medical debt erasure cannot be requested but is based on which qualifying debts the nonprofit can acquire. Recipients will be notified via mail if their debt has been abolished with a branded envelope.

“I am so thankful to my donor. I am a single mother of three who recently had surgery, so I’m thankful to have that financial burden lifted… I will pay it forward. It amazes me how kind this world can be. I am forever thankful to [the] RIP Medical Debt donor,” said Jessica, RIP letter recipient from South Carolina.

To learn more about ways to support CCF’s economic mobility work in coastal South Carolina, visit CoastalCommunityFoundation.org.

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