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Community Impact

A Joyful Gift of Gratitude

Fr. Jim has been involved with mental health and addiction counseling for more than 35 years

Hanging high in the sunroom of Claudia and Jim Swarthout’s home is a hand-painted, wooden sign that reads: Gratitude. For the Swarthouts, gratitude—thankfulness and the desire to return kindness to others—is a way of life. Claudia, a former nun, and Jim, a former Catholic priest, now Episcopal priest, have both lived religious lives that have taught them to look beyond themselves. They recently decided to give back to Rosecrance and those seeking a life in recovery by making a planned gift to the Rosecrance Foundation.

Fr. Jim has been involved with mental health and addiction counseling for more than 35 years. As a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor with a master’s in social work, he has counseled hundreds of individuals and families impacted by substance use and mental health disorders. Claudia and Jim also have family members and friends who have come to Rosecrance for treatment. The 12 Steps, famously summarized as “Trust God. Clean house. Help others,” nicely intertwine the Swarthouts’ values of faith, recovery, and service to others.

“No matter big or small, folks can think about what has been important to them and how they can continue to give and help the world,” explains Jim. He and Claudia have found joy in making their bequest for a purpose and cause they believe in: Recovery. Not having children of their own, it is also meaningful to them to show their nieces and nephews how important charitable giving is. “It’s important to leave something beyond our family. Hopefully, our gift will inspire others, friends, and family members to consider something themselves.”

When asked what their biggest wish is for Rosecrance and its clients, the Swarthouts replied, “People have a right to have joy and to push joy forward in their lives and in the future. Addiction is joyless…We believe in what Rosecrance is doing to restore that joy to others.”

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