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NBA star Trae Young donates more than $1M to pay off Atlanta families’ medical debt

Star point guard, his foundation and RIP Medical Debt deliver support to 570 households desperately in need of help

Outstanding medical debt in Atlanta has been reduced by more than $1 million, thanks to Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young and his philanthropic foundation.

The Trae Young Foundation relieved medical debt for 570 struggling families in Atlanta by partnering with RIP Medical Debt, a national nonprofit established to buy down medical debt across the country, according to CNN.

“The city of Atlanta has welcomed me with open arms,” Young said, according to CNN. “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 was created as a 501c3 in 2014 by two former debt collection executives as a way to purchase bundled medical debt on the secondary debt market for pennies on the dollars, according to the nonprofit’s website. The nonprofit targets those most in need, including debtors that are “two times or below the federal poverty level, insolvent and/or with debts that are five percent or more of gross annual income,” according to the nonprofit.

Once RIP buys up the outstanding debt, the organization sends forgiveness notices to the families and also helps them repair their credit reports, according to the organization’s web site.

Through RIP Medical Debt’s model, Young’s foundation donated $10,000, which erased $1,059,186.39 of medical debt. The average amount of debt forgiven was $1,858, according to a press release.

Young is a star point guard in the NBA. He currently ranks fourth in points per game (28.9) in the league and fifth in assists (8.4). He was a 2019 Rookie of the Year Finalist and tied Oscar Robertson’s record as the only players to earn 2,000 points and 800 assists in their first 100 career games.

Young started his foundation last year with a focus on mental health. According to his foundation web page, The Trae Young Foundation aims to help provide continued education and research to make a “positive impact to all children and adults from all walks of life who suffer from Mental Health problems.”

This article originally appeared in The Grio.

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