ROANOKE, Va. -

All too often, we don't thank those who serve enough.

Next week, one Franklin County man will receive an award as a Hometown Hero.  But even at 89, serving is in Gene Meador's blood.

"Gene is one of our icons," RAM House volunteer coordinator Martha Snidow said laughing.

"My whole life, really, has been trying to do stuff for other folks," Gene Meador said.

Growing up, Gene Meador's parents ran a homeless shelter of sorts in Franklin County during the Great Depression.

His whole life has been filled with serving.

"I do what I can to help them," Meador says.

23 years ago, Gene saw an article in the newspaper that the Roanoke Area Ministries or RAM house needed volunteers.

He didn't bother calling the house to see what he could do, he just showed up.

"And you know, I started that day," and Gene Meador hasn't left since.

So at least twice a week since 1990, Gene Meador comes and helps.

"This is my fulfillment, really. God has blessed me with many things and I feel that I have to return," Meador said.

For his service to the RAM house, Gene is actually winning a hometown hero award from the Fraternal Organization of the Modern Woodmen of America.

"It's an honor, but it's something that a lot of folks do, do as I do," Meador says humbly.

The world through Gene Meador's eyes looks different, he sees the needs of others.

But the world looks different through his eyes, because he is seeing that need less and less.  Gene Meador won't admit it, but he may need to stop volunteering soon.

He has macular degeneration, an eye condition that can lead to blindness.  He's received treatment since 2006 that's enabled him to keep his sight.

"If I hadn't gone through that, I probably would have lost my eyesight," Meador said.

Meador has come to grips with his condition and still sees well enough to drive.

If he can't drive to the RAM house anymore, he says he'll be okay.

"I don't have that fear, no. I said the Lord will provide," Meador said standing over the food he was serving to the homeless.

"We are thankful everyday for having him here and we hope that he'll be able to continue to come," Martha Snidow said.

Vision or no vision, Gene Meador is an example that no matter what, we should always find time for others.

You could say he's been seeing clearly his entire life.