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Atlanta Hawks player cancels over $1M in medical debt for area residents

Atlanta Hawks player Trae Young has canceled more than $1 million in medical debt for Atlanta residents.

Young made a $10,000 donation through his foundation, the Trae Young Foundation, to the nonprofit RIP Medical Debt. The organization buys and forgives medical debt across the country. 

Young’s donation will erase $1,059,186.39 in medical debt in the greater Atlanta area. RIP Medical Debt purchases the debt on the secondary debt market for “pennies on the dollar,” according to a Wednesday statement.

“The city of Atlanta has welcomed me with open arms,” Young, who finished second in NBA Rookie of the Year voting for 2019, said in the Wednesday statement. “Giving back to this community is extremely important to me. I hope these families can find a bit of relief knowing that their bills have been taken care of as we enter the New Year.” 

RIP Medical Debt specifically buys accounts for those “most in need,” or individuals who are two times or below the federal poverty level, insolvent and/or have debts that are 5 percent or more of their gross annual income, according to the statement.

The Atlanta Hawks point guard tweeted Wednesday: “Blessed to have such a Great Team around me to help me make this happen!! For the A.” 

RIP Medical Debt spokesman Daniel Lempert told CBS News that, on average, every $1 that is donated to the organization can erase $100 of medical debt.

“The nonprofit is always thrilled to work with local campaigners because it focuses relief on a specific location and makes it personal for the donor,” Lempert explained, according to CBS News. “We’re very pleased with Trae’s promise and renown.

Lempert added that he hoped Young’s” powerful statement” could “hopefully set a really great example for the fans that look up to him.”

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