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Charlotte church pays off $2 million worth of medical debt for strangers

When the coronavirus pandemic hit the Carolinas, thousands of people were left with severe medical debt. That is until Freedom House Church stepped in.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Charlotte Church just paid off $2 million worth of medical debt for those unable to pay their bills in North and South Carolina. 

"It's really important to us, as a church, to think of ways right now that we could really step up and help the community in a time of need," said Penny Maxwell, Senior Pastor at Freedom House Church 

Maxwell said when the coronavirus pandemic hit the Carolinas, she and the other members of the church created a think tank to come up with ways to serve their struggling community. 

"We had a lot of our business leaders, and a lot of our high ranking, creative people that got in the room and said 'hey, how can we help the community right now,'" Maxwell said.  

So Freedom House Church started delivering more than 900 meals, per week, to people who have been shut-in due to the coronavirus pandemic. This includes people who are homeless, in rehab facilities and the elderly. 

Maxwell said the church also found a way to support both the shut-in community and local restaurants by ordering food from local businesses and then delivering the food to the shut-in community.

"We've been buying 900 meals from local Charlotte restaurants and having volunteers take them and deliver them to the different crisis shelters, and homeless shelters around the city. We felt like that was a win, win," Maxwell said. 

But Freedom House Church knew they couldn't just stop with free meals. They knew they had more to give. 

"A lot of people right now are struggling with medical debt because of all of this happening," Maxwell said. "And they can't even think about paying their rent or putting food on their table because the debt collectors are banging on their doors." 

So the church reached out to a debt servicing company and bought a bulk of debt to pay off. 

"And so, that's exactly what we did to the tune of $2 million worth of medical debt we were able to negotiate and buy that debt down," Maxwell said. 

Maxwell said even though their church is also struggling with people not being able to physically attend service, their giving and volunteering has not gone down. If anything, their charitable donations have gone up. 

"Even though a lot of people have been out of work or, you know, situations have been difficult for them or their family, donations haven't gone down at all," Maxwell said. 

For more information on Freedom House Church and their volunteering efforts click here. 

A break down of where the medical debts were paid off: 

Mecklenburg ($902k)
Cabarrus ($194k)
Union ($139.2k)
Chesterfield ($128.7k)
Gaston ($127.1k)
Iredell ($110.1k)
Lancaster ($109k)
Rowan ($101.4k)
Davidson ($65.6k)
Lincoln ($32.5k)

Penny Maxwell and her Husband Troy Maxwell started Freedom House Church 17 years ago. 

Sometimes life is like a puzzle, you're not exactly sure where the m... issing pieces go. Just pause and take it piece by piece and soon the picture will be complete. Trust that ALL things work together for good, even if you can't see it at first.

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