Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Unsung Hero: Heather Hamlin, a model of grace and love even when parenting is tough


Seattle's Child is proud to once again sponsor the Unsung Heroes being honored in February by the Department of Children, Youth and Families Strengthening Families Washington. 

Every day this month we'll present an Unsung Hero.

 Nominations are accepted from around the state and include biological parents, grandparents, foster and adoptive parents. Some volunteer at local schools; some have started nonprofit organizations; some mentor others in their communities. All honorees are true heroes: outstanding caregivers doing important work on behalf of children.


Heather Hamlin, Spokane


Heather Hamlin is the executive director of the Women Helping Women Fund in Spokane. As such, she is a leader in our community, steering programs and mobilizing women and businesses in ways that no other organization is able to do. But besides all that, she is an amazing mom to a lucky set of kids, one of whom she moved from fostering to adopting. She does that with such grace — for herself and her kids. She models love.

On the night before our scheduled meeting, Heather happened to have her 4-year-old foster child placed in her home. Understanding that these transitions can be difficult, she asked if I would mind if he joined us at the meeting. Of course I wouldn't mind! And although I felt like she was right there with me, I could see that she was keenly aware of the needs of her little one who was also there with us.

Her little one was full of energy, curiosity and love, and she met all that with more love and patience.  When the chocolate milk spilled, she met the little one with love. When the stickers no longer satisfied him, she met the little one with love. When his energy was no longer containable in the chair, she met the little one with love. I watched her bounce back from stress, exhibit understanding of the developmental needs of her child, support her child's feelings, and accept help — all right there in our short meeting.

Motherhood is a tiring and thankless job. Heather is a model of grace and love in this work.


Nominator:  Mandy Chapman-Orozco


More Unsung Heroes:

Victoria Romero shares her heart to help families affected by autism

Shannon and Everette Anderson help kids embrace their Native heritage



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