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.
Sean & Heather Dodge, Shelton (nominated twice)
The reasons why I am nominating these two very special people are because they have always gone above and beyond for me and our children. While I was in my active addiction officer Sean Dodge and his wife adopted 2 of my children. They left their honeymoon to pick up the first one they took, my baby Nevaeh, because I was dirty at birth. I fought for her and got her back. They had her for a year, I never was able to take them out of her life so we started a relationship that turned into so much more. They now have adopted two of my kids and have guardianship of one that we take of together. They have never given up on us. They would take me to work and school while I was trying to figure life out. They have always gone above and beyond and deserve this award please.
Nominator: Katie Morales Ramos
It is an honor to nominate Sean and Heather Dodge for the Unsung Hero award. Sean Dodge is a sheriff in Mason County and has an impact and support for the community. Heather is a clerk in the courts. We need to honor our public servants more. This couple has had a tremendous and positive impact on my coworker’s children. They have adopted them and raised them as their own in a loving home.
Nominator: Dee Wolverton
All of the 2023 Unsung Heroes:
Chelsea Hope is a model of resilience and a gem of a person
Mindy Livingston has made foster care her life’s mission
Sandra Stokes is a guardian angel to new moms
Lack of sleep doesn’t stop Kate Ginn from helping kids
Amy Jensen has shown her boys what a mother can do
Through grief, Susan Barbeau has been there for her child, her community
Josie Garcia is passionate about her family and community
She pushed for an adaptive swing, and that was just the beginning
This foster family greets kids with love, laughter and support
Spokane mom strives to become the best version of herself
Kendall Bowen goes above and beyond for kids placed in her care
Marysville couple form beautiful bonds while helping kids heal
SW Washington family share “big, amazing hearts” with foster community
Brian McClay, adoptive dad and champion to kids facing challenges
Couple happy to share the parenting lessons they learned
Heather Fourstar, mother of 7 and determined change-maker
Jacinda White, a dedicated caregiver for medically fragile infants
Kasey Knutson embraces challenges most parents will never know
Meet Katie Strickland, our state’s first legally blind foster parent
These parents are devoted to their preemie triplets (and four other kids!)
Poulsbo mom a strong voice in Native and special-needs communities
Rayna Espinoza Ives is a strong, authentic voice for the Native community
Rebecca Souday is a slice of hope for special-needs parents
Suma Kumar shares her family’s story, and it helps others
Single father of seven helps make things easier for other dads