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Shayne Hunter out in the sun with his kids. Photo courtesy Washington Department of Children, Youth and Families

This dad gives all to help his kids thrive | Unsung Hero

You’d never guess the storms they’ve weathered

Seattle’s Child is proud to partner with the state Department of Children, Youth and Families Strengthening Families Washington to honor outstanding caregivers doing important work on behalf of children. Throughout February, we’ll introduce you to Unsung Heroes from around the state: biological parents, grandparents, foster and adoptive parents. Some volunteer at local schools; some have started nonprofits; some mentor others in their communities. Enjoy the stories of 2024’s unsung heroes. 

NOTE: Seattle’s Child is running these stories unedited, as written by the people who nominated them, in keeping with the DCYF Unsung Hero process.

Shayne Hunter, Aberdeen

Shayne wasn’t always the pillar of strength he is today. Facing incarceration and addiction, he lost custody of his children – Alaura and Bron – at a critical point in their lives. This became his rock bottom, not his end. Shayne embarked on a grueling journey of rehabilitation, tackling drug court, parenting classes, and supervised visits with unwavering determination. His heart ached, but his love for his kids was a burning sun guiding him through the darkness. And he emerged reborn. 

Shayne secured a full-time job, secured a cozy home, and meticulously nurtured a loving community around his children. Alaura thrives in junior cheer, while Bron’s kindness and helpfulness became his calling card, earning him school awards. Their resilience, a direct reflection of their father’s dedication, shone through.

Weekends aren’t for rest. Picture Shayne with his kids – laughter ringing as they glided across the roller rink, their faces sparkling with joy. Imagine them huddled on the beach, treasures in hand, marveling at the king tides – a testament to their shared journey.

Seeing him today, you’d never guess the storms they’d weathered. Shayne, the unsung hero, transformed adversity into a tapestry of love, proving that a father’s unwavering commitment can rewrite even the bleakest beginnings. He, along with his little family, stands as a beacon of hope, an inspiring reminder that second chances, when embraced with grit and grace, can blossom into the most precious victories.

— April Messenger

More Unsung Heroes:

Putting foster child’s needs above their own

Motivated mom reunited with her three sons

Kristin Weddle exemplifies what Parents as Teachers stands for

Dedicated single mom of 6 also helps parents facing tough times

Katie Biron: a passion for healing families, building community

About the Author

Seattle's Child Staff