Haskell Counts, 71, proudly displays his U.S. Marine Corps tattoo on his right arm. From 1954 to 1955, Counts was an airwing. Just as the 120-year-old Semper Fidelis motto suggests, he remained loyal to his crew and company.

More than 50 years later, Counts remains loyal, but instead of the Marines, he serves the city of Anderson. He served as a volunteer in more than 15 organizations in the city, and he continues to help out the community through some of these groups.

Lifestream Services, an agency that helps older adults live in homes independently, recognized this loyalty and faithfulness, and it will be awarding Counts the Senior Volunteer of the Year award Wednesday at its annual luncheon.

Counts said he was surprised when he found out he won the award.

“I just think of myself as an average volunteer,” he said as he described one 80-year-old woman who volunteers with him.

But Donna Penticuff, director of marketing and communications at Lifestream Services, said Counts’ involvement is what pushed the committee to pick him for the high honor.

“Haskell was just an outstanding nominee,” she said. “I don’t know where we would be without volunteers like Haskell.”

Counts is one of five individuals being honored at the LifeStream Annual Awards of Excellence Luncheon.

Counts is the president of the advisory council for the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program. He also delivers care packages to St. John’s Ambulatory Center and other buildings on the hospital’s campus.

“I enjoy it,” he said. “(I’ll continue as) long as my health holds up.”

Counts retired as Pendleton postmaster in 1990. After discussing it with his wife, he decided he should volunteer to get out of the house.

“When I first started volunteering, I saw a lot of people I delivered mail to,” he said.

Even with a sick wife at home, Counts volunteers three days a week, including two days at Habitat for Humanity.

“I’ve enjoyed being involved all these years,” he said.

Counts passed his love for volunteerism on to his children. His son regularly volunteers at a soup kitchen in Scotsdale, Ariz., and his daughter does volunteer work in Sarasota, Fla., where she lives. Both Counts and his wife encouraged their children to volunteer when they were young.

“I always look back when I was young,” he said. “I always appreciated the teachers that were in charge of the service clubs, the ones that put in the extra time.”

Every Thanksgiving, Counts can be found at the Geater Center, and every Christmas Day at the Christian Center.

“Volunteerism, I just think it’s a thing that just comes natural to me.”

To receive the Senior Volunteer of the Year award, a volunteer must be at least 60, an active volunteer and have positive motives for volunteering.

Judy Kratzner, program director for RSVP, nominated Counts for the award.

“I feel very honored to have nominated him and for him to be selected was really nice,” she said.

Kratzner, who knew Counts before she joined RSVP six years ago, said she nominated him because of his active involvement in the community.

“I felt he was an outstanding example of an all-around volunteer and he has been for many years,” she said. “And I thought we should celebrate.”

Counts is able to see how smaller jobs affect the bigger picture, Kratzner said.

“He can see how all those small tasks add up to solving all those major community problems,” she said. “He’s been interested in everything from recycling to human services. The scope is just great.”

Counts said he tries to recruit people into RSVP and other nonprofit organizations constantly.

“His energy translates to other people,” Kratzner said. “Because of his enthusiasm, he’s able to encourage other people to volunteer.”

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