Seattle's Child

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Tannisha Thomas Unsung Hero

Photo courtesy Washington Department of Children, Youth and Families

Kinship Care wonder | Unsung Hero

Tannisha Olson-Thomas gives so much

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.

Tannisha Olson-Thomas, Renton

Tannisha is the perfect example of a superhero, as a Kinship Caregiver who has cared for her 2-year-old niece since she was 3 months old. She took this responsibility on while she was raising three young girls of her own, ages 1 to 10. I remember dropping off diapers from sizes 1 to 4 in one visit and Tannisha was so thankful. She then gave me some unused clothing items for another Kinship Caregiver that she had communicated with. I admire how Tannisha gives, even out of her own needs. 

In the past four years that I’ve known Tanisha, I’ve seen her grow on so many levels. It started back in 2018 when she became a part of the Parents As Teachers program through RAYS, now Akin. She just had her, now 5-year-old, daughter and was seeking ways she could perform at her optimal parenting level. Then, Tannisha joined our Kinship Support Group meetings and has since been with us as the youngest Kinship Caregiver of the group. 

Her age doesn’t take away from her resourcefulness and expertise as a Parent. I’ve even witnessed her resilience in her housing situation, as she once shared a two-bedroom apartment with six people total in her family. She set a goal to move into a house that would fit her family comfortably. She has since transitioned into a 4-bedroom house across the street from that very apartment. Tannisha Thomas is a true hero in our community.

— Mekina Gault of ICCFS

More Unsung Heroes:

Mom’s unwavering commitment

She’s chosen to care

A tireless champion for kids

An open home and heart

A tireless advocate for special kids

About the Author

Seattle Child Staff