“Every Day, One in Two Americans. . .”

by | Aug 8, 2023 | Annual Conference, Conference Newsletter

2023 Mission Project - Ukraine Relief, RIP Medical Det, and Disaster Relief for Turkey/Syria

“Every day 1 in 2 Americans choose between paying medical bills and covering basic needs.”

RIP Medical Debt

This statistic, from the RIP Medical Debt website, shares with us the dire circumstance that so many Americans are facing today.

Our Conference chose to make a difference. Counties throughout the states that make up our geographic area will receive help. You’ll remember, every $100 donated relieves $10,000 in medical debt. Other statistics that we should keep in mind:

Nearly 50% of U.S. adults delayed or skipped seeking medical care. Why? The high costs of that same medical care. 50% of U.S. adults would not be able to afford an unexpected bill of $500. They are not prepared financially to do so. Most startling – some 2/3 of bankruptcies cite medical debt as the leading cause of why they filed for same.

It is likely you know someone impacted by medical debt. It is likely that debt is on the increase, and families are faced with the pressure that those calls for payment and monthly statements demand. All the while trying to make ends meet. Ends such as housing and food security, clothes for their children, medicines, and so on. You get the idea.

First suggested by Rev. Jen Lambert of Red Mountain United Methodist Church, the Sessions committee agreed to have RIP Medical Debt be one of three mission focus projects for the 2023 Annual Conference session. Our churches did well – raising $11,332.82 which was submitted to RIP last week. This morning we were informed that your generous contribution will allow approximately $1,133,282.00 of medical debt to be alleviated.

With heartfelt gratitude, many are looking forward to a brighter future today, due to your giving spirits. Thank you Desert Southwest Conference!

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Author: Billie K. Fidlin

Billie K. Fidlin is the Director of Outreach & Justice for the Desert Southwest Conference. She is a graduate of Western Michigan University and attended Claremont School of Theology for religious studies. Ms. Fidlin currently serves as the President of the Arizona Faith Network in her second term. She is President & Founder of Whisper n Thunder Inc., and sits on various boards including the Justa Center. Her awards include the UM Foundation for Evangelism 2004 Distinguished Evangelist; 2016 Church Women United / United Nations Human Rights Award; 2018 Servant Leader Award AZ Faith Network; 2022 Southern Poverty Law Center Certificate of Recognition; and 2022-23 Class of Who's Who in America.
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