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.
All month long, 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 their stories.
Lindsey Shaw, Spokane
Lindsey has faced much adversity in her life and yet presses forward with a positive heart and helping hand to neighbors around her.
When her son started kindergarten, she became an AmeriCorps VISTA and worked to elevate Youth Voice in Northeast Spokane, which has been historically marginalized, red-lined and lacking job opportunities. Lindsey has a vision of safe parks for youth to hang out in and neighbors to be proud of where they live.
If there is garbage to pick up, a neighbor to assist or a person who just needs to be heard, Lindsey is there. She is fighting lead in her home, abandoned needles where her boys play and people hurting all around her.
Lindsey’s ability to see the humanity in everyone and intuit what is needed is demonstration of an emotional intelligence many “successful” leaders only aspire to. I have seen her without fuss run around searching for a teacup, washing it, finding tea, heating it up and calmly bring it to a guest in our offices.
Lindsey’s year of service is over. She now is building computer literacy and women’s leadership skills in order to find a paid place of impact while volunteering as Neighborhood Council Chair. Lindsey has overcome decades of trauma and carries hope to every interaction. There is no greater authenticity and example of making your way in this world, being tenacious and gracious, and standing for those who have not had voice while cultivating that awareness inside them, than Lindsey. Sharing her impact will inspire others who feel they may not have the education or experience to lead. Lindsey is proof it just takes heart and energy.
Nominator: Jene Ray