The War Within Initiative helps pay off $5 million in medical bills for veterans

The fundraising drive "sparked the compassion of donors" to lift the medical debt of service members, veterans and their families.

Image Credit: U.S. Veterans Magazine

A national fundraising campaign by McClatchy, a publicly traded American publishing company based in Sacramento, California, led to the abolishing of more than $5 million is medical debt for veterans.

Partnering with RIP Medical debt, a nonprofit organization that buys medical debt at a discount, McClatchy’s fundraising drive, The War Within Initiative, garnered numerous donors in 30 markets across print, digital, video and social platforms.

“We are deeply grateful to our viewers and readers for their enthusiastic and generous response to this campaign,” Craig Forman, President and CEO of McClatchy, said. “We’re very proud to have joined with them and with the McClatchy Foundation, which kickstarted the effort, to help make a difference in the lives of struggling military families.”

In a 10-part documentary series, The War Within, which was produced by McClatchy Studios – a production arm of McClatchy “dedicated to revelatory nonfiction storytelling driven by local characters with national appeal” – shared the stories of three Afghanistan war veterans who struggle with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other medical and emotional struggles. At the end of the documentary series, the fundraising drive “sparked the compassion of donors” to lift the medical debt of service members, veterans and their families.

“Speaking as a U.S. Navy veteran and co-founder of RIP Medical Debt, I cannot express enough gratitude to McClatchy for their work in both promoting our charity, which relieves vets of unplayable medical debt, and in illuminating the needs of our warriors through their Facebook series,” Jerry Ashton, RIP Medical Debt co-founder, said. “Thanks to McClatchy’s efforts, we are seeing to it that more than $5,000,000 in such debt will be abolished for vets. Bravo.”


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