DENVER — You don't always have to see a smile to feel its impact. Brian Counterman is a prime example of that.
"We see how bright he shines and we want to celebrate him," said Emily Zaideman of Allstate Insurance.
For the past 18 years, Counterman has led the charge for The Allstate Foundation, raising more than $72,000 in grant money to help organizations like Integrated Family Community Services (IFCS), which helps low-income families in the south metro Denver area. And he's done all of this while battling his own health ailments — Counterman is 50% blind and has a broken back.
"I’ve had 13 surgeries in five years and I’m down, but I’m not out," he said. "There’s a lot of people that are a lot worse off than I’ve ever been."
This year, Allstate volunteers are stuffing and delivering 100 bags full of food so home-bound seniors have a warm Thanksgiving meal.
"It just gives them hope. It’s an opportunity to take a break from the turmoil from the year and just enjoy the holidays," said Todd McPherson, development director for IFCS.
Counterman man said the volunteers may be the only visitor that person sees during the holidays.
"We had a Vietnam veteran two years ago and there were three of us that went into his place and he just wanted to show us all of his stuff from Vietnam. He wanted to show us all the pictures of his grandchildren," Counterman said. "We aren’t just going to deliver the meals — we go in and visit with them and ask if we can do something to help them."
It's comfort food served with a side of compassion because a warm heart is the real recipe to a happy holiday.
"I think we were put on here to leave a mark and to be better people, to make our communities and our world better," Counterman said.
Molly Hendrickson anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30-7 a.m. She also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on Denver7. Follow Molly on Facebook here and Twitter here . To nominate a hero in your life, click here .