MT. VERNON — An area church is taking steps to help pay off more than $1.5 million in medical bills for people struggling financially in Southern Illinois as the holidays approach.

Central Christian Church in Mt. Vernon plans to use $15,000 to pay off more than $1.5 million in medical debt.

According to WSIL-TV, for three years each member of the congregation has given an extra dollar in the offering every week. All the cash has gone to help one person in the community who’s struggling.

The church decided that this holiday season it wanted to give back even more and so partnered with nonprofit organization RIP Medical to buy more than $1.5 million in medical debt for a fraction of what is owed.

Through the partnership, they’ll be able to spend $15,000 dollars to pay off $1.5 million in medical debt in southern Illinois.

According to the church, they don’t even know who the people are they just know they’re helping people who will subsequently receive a letter in the mail telling them their debt has been paid off.

The Church knows those they’re helping have more debt than assets and make less than two times the poverty level.