Foster mom given Jefferson award

Mar. 19—WAPAKONETA — A local mom to many was nominated for the Jefferson Award for her heart for others and giving back. Paige Fiebelkorn has volunteered her time and efforts for over 10 years.

Fiebelkorn focuses on the needs of children who are adopted and in the foster care system. Around eight years ago, Fiebelkorn and her husband became foster parents. While developing a community with other parents, the couple soon recognized the lack of resources available to foster families.

Kayla Helms nominated Fiebelkorn for the award. Helms said in the application she was deserving because of Fiebelkorn's selfless nature and her desire to give back without expectation of anything in return.

Fiebelkorn said she has fostered around 32 children. Each child has different circumstances from teenage parenthood, incarceration or inpatient mental health treatment.

"(What inspired me) was just observing it," Fiebelkorn said. "I watched the ones I loved the most living in these situations and seeing the kiddos in the school system. I substitute there so I see the daily struggles of some of these kids."

The Fiebelkorns started a support group to help one another meet critical needs. The group soon turned into a "care closet" full of supplies. Today, the non-profit organization is known as Generations of Love. The home located in Wapakoneta was donated by a local investment group.

"We will have mental health counseling, music therapy, and art therapy," Fiebelkorn said. "Our kids are counseled out. They are ordered to go to counseling and it can become textbook — we are trying to come up with unconventional ways to get them interested."

The inspiration to adopt and become a haven for other families was from personal experience. Fiebelkorn said some of her family members were adopted or a part of the foster care system.

Moving forward, the organization plans to become a supervised visit center (for foster families). Fiebelkorn said there are currently no centers in Auglaize County.

"We are working close by Auglaize County CPS," Fiebelkorn said. "That is who we are licensed through. We are also talking to agencies like Ohio Kan because there is a lack of resources within those agencies in our county. We are hoping they can also bring resources here to help out these families."

The organization is located at 5 E. Main St. For more information call 419-234-3033.

Reach Precious Grundy at 567-242-0351.