Why We Give

To everyone at Pathway Church,

I felt I needed to contact you and share my story. Yesterday, after returning home from work, I noticed a golden-yellow envelope from Pathway Church. I’m almost embarrassed to admit it was immediately tossed into the solicitation/junk mail pile of letters.

I can’t really tell you what caused me to open the letter. I didn’t open any other letters from that pile as I typically don’t. I am not by any means a religious person, so I hesitate to ascribe it to some kind of divine intervention. I struggle to find the words or phrasing to accurately describe it otherwise.

What I read over the next few seconds nearly brought me to tears. In truth, I’m flooded with the same emotions while I’m writing this. My medical debt I had incurred years ago was long since written off in my mind as “unpayable,” given current financial circumstances and other obligations. This unpayable debt had been purchased by your church through RIP Medical Debt and paid off. I had not asked for help and the charity had not informed me you were going to help me. Nowhere in your letter was there a request for donation or solicitation for an organization. I reread the letter more than once looking for (even expecting to find) these requests—as I couldn’t wrap my mind around anyone extending such a kind gesture to someone they have never met. 

To say that I was emotionally moved by this “random act of kindness”, as you put it, is an understatement. Looking back, the only word I can think of to accurately describe my feelings today is “ashamed.” I feel ashamed that I could not fathom how or why a person or group would so selflessly work to help another without requesting something in return. I feel ashamed that I spent nearly an hour after reading the letter researching you and RIP Medical Debt via the Internet, I still, after rereading the letter several times, couldn’t understand your motivations. I realize today that the fault was in my character and apparently many others, whose personal accounts were nearly identical to mine.

Aside from the significant financial assistance you have provided, I think the more important benefit is a restoration of faith in humanity. There are so many horrible things happening in the world today. To know there are still people who go out of their way to do good just for the sake of doing so provides a comfort that words cannot do justice. It is truly a light in the darkness.

I wish the best for all of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Sincerely,
Dennis