APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - A Fox Valley caregiver's empathy gains him national recognition.
But it's not the awards that keeps Jeffrey Pagel's passion going.
ANCOR, a non-profit representing more than 1,400 private disability service groups in the US, recently awarded Pagel as one of the best individualized support caregivers out of hundreds of national nominations.
He works for Innovative Services, Inc. in the Fox Valley, helping people live productive lives.
"I know I'm happy for him," said one of his clients, Lorna, who added that without Pagel, "I would have just stayed in bed and sulked."
"I know the people that I work for appreciate me," said Pagel.
Pagel's biggest passion is working with people who are non-verbal.
"There's a communication that's probably as strong as sign language," said Pagel.
Pagel says the award is a great honor but more important to him is a breakthrough with his clients.
"He has a willingness to give up himself even when he might not get that same amount back in return," said Kerry Blondheim of Innovative Services, Inc.
After nearly 30 years of helping people that have disabilities, Pagel is just thrilled to have found a career he loves and makes a difference in.
"And I feel like I'm blessed that I found it," said Pagel.