Greetings, citizens of the Iron Realms,

I hope everyone’s doing as well as they can in these plague times. I feel like we’re living through a really badly-run event in one of our games, and whoever is running the event has completely forgotten that they’re supposed to be fun.

In any case, while people are being laid off left and right (my wife was laid off last week), Iron Realms is in a position where our work hasn’t really been disrupted. We all work from home offices anyway, and remotely working together is baked into our company’s DNA. We haven’t had to lay anyone off because of Covid, in fact, for which we’re all grateful.

So, we want to do something to help. We looked around, and decided that we want to support a charity called RIP Medical Debt. It got some fame a few years ago when John Oliver bought $14m in medical debt for $60k and gave it to them to retire.

What they do is buy and pay off the medical debt of people for whom it is a large financial burden, at 1 penny on the dollar. In other words, $1 can pay off $100 of someone’s medical debt. For those of you who don’t live in the US, our health system here allows people to go into crippling debt because they got sick or injured, to the point of financial ruin. According to one study from 2019, about 530,000 annual bankruptcies in the US are at least partly-caused by medical debt.

In this case, RIP Medical Debt recently started a fund – the Helping Covid Heroes Fund – that specifically buys up and pays off the medical debt of healthcare workers and first responders who are seriously financially burdened by the debt (so a doctor making $300k isn’t getting her student loans paid off by this, for instance).

I saw that and immediately thought, “This is what we want to support.” The impact per dollar is just so high.

We’re going to be doing two things for the rest of this month:

  1. Each game is creating a minipet that’ll be for sale on the website for $5. 100% of revenue from these will go to the Helping Covid Heroes Fund. https://ripmedicaldebt.org/campaigns/
  2. We’re going to donate 20% of our revenue (minus revenue from the minipets as we’re already donating 100% of those), up to a max of $12,000, for the rest of this month.

If we raised $12,000 from #2 and another $3000 from #1, that’d pay off $1.5 million in medical debt for Covid heroes!

We’ll announce how much was raised after the bookkeeping is done in early-ish June, and donate the money raised then as well. It’s not a world-changing amount, but it could be life-changing for the people whose debt is paid off.

Finally, we’re also going to increase daily free credits available each day until the end of the month – your game producers will post details themselves there.

Stay well,

Matt/Sarapis/Aurelius
CEO, Iron Realms

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