22 Dec An Attitude of Gratitude
Archie Swensen roams the streets in an old van.
Archie, better known as ‘Idaho’s Hope Dealer,’ is not looking for drugs or alcohol. He’s looking for those who are in need and addicted to drugs and alcohol. And he doesn’t limit his scope to the addicted. Anyone in need can come to him for help – for food stamps or rides to the Boise Rescue Mission. Over the past two years, he’s driven countless people to the hospital, to detox treatment programs, 12-Step meetings and wherever they need to go to get sober and stay sober.
Archie knows how important sober living is and he knows how to get there. He struggled with active addiction for 16 years. When his habit was so intense doctors told him he had only a week to live, a miracle happened. Archie described it as, “I finally decided to surrender—to stop fighting—and try a different way.”
He lived a lot longer than a week and has selflessly dedicated his life to helping those suffering from chemical dependency ever since. Transportation is a vital part of his mission. He needs it to extend loving kindness to those who are sad, desperate, lonely and afraid.
But then it happened. His van broke down in Boise’s frigid weather.
The lack of a vehicle didn’t stop him. When asked, “What happens if someone needing help reaches out for a ride?”
“I’m sure I could network and find a way to get someone where they need to go,” he said with conviction. “Fortunately, in recovery I have been able to meet a lot of people who feel the same way I do.”
The news of Archie’s predicament spread rapidly through the Boise community and all agreed something had to be done. Archie should not go through the Christmas season without a car.
Inspired by Archie’s example of loving kindness, four Idaho business owners jumped in to help. They pooled their resources and bought him a gift that will keep on giving—a new car!
Sunnyside Automotive’s humble co-owner, Dave Pinegar, cleared his schedule in Idaho Falls and drove Archie’s new car to Boise within a few hours—red ribbon and all. Brick House Recovery’s owner Jason Coombs, and Shot Mechanics Basketball owner, Coach Collin Castellaw, along with Jake Wilber prepared for the grand reveal to surprise Archie. For video footage of Archie’s face during the reveal, click here.
Thanks to these business owners, Archie can continue to help those in need. His motto is to have an “attitude of gratitude while feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and comforting the sick, afflicted, and addicted.”
Immediately after Archie’s celebration was over, he fired up the engine and left to pick up someone who needed his help. Stories like Archie’s are powerful and inspiring. May we all carry an “attitude of gratitude” through the holidays and into the New Year.
To learn how to help an addicted loved one, check out Brick House Recovery TV
Many thanks to contributing businesses:
Sunnyside Automotive – Idaho Falls http://www.sunnysideautos.com/
Renaissance Ranch – Idaho Falls & Pocatello https://www.idahoaddictioncenters.com/
Shot Mechanics Basketball – Eagle https://shotmechanics.com/
Brick House Recovery – Meridian https://brickhouserecovery.com/