Words & Deeds

‘Dirty Jobs’ host once visited Idaho maggot farm. Now he’s doing favors in Twin Falls

Sleep in Heavenly Peace cofounder Luke Mickelson, left, and “Returning the Favor” host Mike Rowe in the show’s new episode, which is set in Twin Falls, Idaho.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace cofounder Luke Mickelson, left, and “Returning the Favor” host Mike Rowe in the show’s new episode, which is set in Twin Falls, Idaho. Facebook Watch

We couldn’t have blamed Mike Rowe if he’d decided to wash his hands of Idaho.

When he was a host on the Discovery Channel, Rowe had to hang out at a North Idaho maggot farm in 2008.

But the “Dirty Jobs” guy returned to the Gem State recently. He visited Twin Falls to film his new Facebook Watch series, “Returning the Favor.” The 22-minute episode, which debuted this week, is a tearjerker. Rowe’s job is to search America for “do-gooders,” he says in the introduction, “people who are slightly better than us, doing nice things for their community in a completely selfless way.”

Rowe then surprises them with his own good deed.

In Twin Falls, Rowe rolled into Sleep in Heavenly Peace, a nonprofit that builds bunk beds for needy children. Volunteers wear shirts that say “No kid sleeps on the floor in our town.” Founders Luke and Heidi Mickelson made 11 beds in 2012. This year, the organization plans to build and deliver 600 beds.

Not to spoil the show, but Rowe pulls together a game-changing, six-figure favor. And these bed-building Idaho saints deserve it. Try not to get a lump in your throat watching Sleep in Heavenly Peace bring bunk beds to smiling kids. It’s a stark reminder that children are living in difficult situations — in Idaho and every other state.

Watch the episode below. Tune in to new episodes of “Returning the Favor” on Facebook Watch on Tuesdays.

Michael Deeds: 208-377-6407, @michaeldeeds

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