Debt Jubilee Project

In 2022, Trinity Moravian Church took a risk to respond to a need in the community: they began to buy and forgive crushing medical debt owed by poor families.  Working with the New York-based nonprofit RIP Medical Debt, when medical debt comes up for auction to third-party debt collectors, we bid on it -- but then forgive it rather than collecting on it.  Our first campaign was able to wipe out over $1.3 million in debt for over 1,000 area households.  Our second campaign wiped out $3.3 million in medical debts in Davidson and Davie counties, and was extensively covered by local news.

Going Viral

The local news reports went viral in April of 2023, trending on TikTok, Twitter, and Reddit.  Coverage on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, coverage on several nationally syndicated radio talk shows, and the New Yorker led to international coverage; the French newspaper La Croix sent a reporter to Winston-Salem to do a feature article on our ministry.  We were swamped with letters, cards, calls, and emails from all over the country.

Others have been inspired by our ministry.  The Moravian Church Board of World Mission (with permission) borrowed our ide and logo for a campaign to raise $50,000 in fifty days to forgive medical debt in several states and the Moravian Clinic in Ahuas, Honduras, which is the principal health care for Miskito natives on the east coast.  A young woman in New York named Casey McIntire who was dying of ovarian cancer, was inspired to undertake a campaign -- in her memory he husband Gregory has raised over $700,000 and forgave over $70 million in medical debt in NYC.

A group of thirty young people in Philadelphia, who described themselves to the Philadelphia Enquirer as "gutter pagan, mostly queer dirtbags" heard of our campaign and raised enough money to forgive $1.6 million in medical debt for poor families in Philly.

Over a hundred congregations around the country have now started "Jubilee" projects of their own to help in their local areas.  By the end of 2023, we discovered that we had purchased literally all the available medical debt in Forsyth and surrounding counties, and so we partnered with some churches in Raleigh to start working on debts in Wake County.

At the beginning of 2024, our campaign has bought and forgiven $14,624,333 in medical debts and relived the crushing burden on over 10,000 NC households.

Want to help? Visit debtjubileeproject.org!