Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Unsung Hero: Shelby Knudson Bell, 'the most hardworking mother I have ever known'

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

 Nominations are accepted from around the state and 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. 


Shelby Knudson Bell

Shelby Knudson Bell (of Port Angeles) is the mother of four children, three with significant special needs, one with developmental delays. Shelby faces this challenge with joy and resolution.

She stays engaged in her kids’ education, as a volunteer and advocate. She puts her kids in mainstream sports whenever possible, and, when not, into Special Olympics. She engages her kids in 4-H, and they are always at the Clallam County Fair with their sheep.

Shelby has an extensive social network which she taps into when she is in need. This network exists because Shelby has a wonderful, giving personality that attracts people to her. She is empathetic, kind and persistent.

In the words of her good friend: “Shelby is a fully devoted, loving, strong, and hardworking mother and wife. The most hardworking mother that I have ever known. She is ready to help when needed, does what she can, and then some. She wants nothing but the best for her kids. She ensures that her efforts benefit not only her kids, but also other children who have similar health, intellectual and emotional challenges. She strives to make sure people are aware that kids with special needs are just as important as any other kid in the community.”

Whether it is as a volunteer with the Clallam Night to Shine prom, as an Orcas Special Olympics volunteer or as a helper in her kids’ classrooms, Shelby works hard at insuring that individuals with special needs have the best life experiences possible. 

Nominated by: Priya Jayadev, Clallam Mosaic; and William Gullick, pastor, Hillcrest Baptist Church


More Unsung Heroes:

Kara Flowers, a champion for families with special-needs kids

Katrina Miller is truly an inspiration 

Alesia Cannady brings love and joy to kids and community 

Kim & Brandon Haynes put their lives on hold to raise their grandkids 

Crystal and Roddy Bauer, foster parents who go above and beyond 

Chris Corry, father, volunteer, elected official and positive role model

Amanda Dugger, "amazing role model" with a generous spirit 


About the Author

Seattle Child Staff

Send story ideas to