SHEVLIN, Minn. — A Minnesota over-the-road truck driver and his infant daughter will be featured on 50,000 bottles of Jones Soda beverages as part of the company’s Unsung Heroes Campaign.

A photograph of Jake Shellum and daughter Chevelle was chosen by Jones Soda for the campaign, which honors workers who have gone above and beyond without recognition during the coronavirus pandemic.

“In the beginning of the pandemic, drivers were having difficulties finding places to park and rest, as well as finding places open to eat,” a Jones Soda release stated. “A lot of states closed restaurants, dine-in truck stops and truck stop showers. The transportation industry also faced challenges including supply chain disruptions causing drivers to work longer hours. Drivers are struggling to protect their health while out on the road, but thousands of drivers like Shellum continued working in order to keep up with demand and provide for their families.”

Shellum made deliveries for C.D. Haugen Trucking based in Bemidji, Minn., for about eight years. He recently took a job driving for Pine Products, another local company that delivers wood shavings and pine bark mulch throughout the Midwest.

The new job allows Shellum to spend more time at home with his wife, Leah, and their eight children. At C.D. Haugen, Shellum was on the road in much of the lower 48 states.

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Jake and Leah Shellum of Shevlin have eight children ranging in age from six months to 13 years. Submitted photo
Jake and Leah Shellum of Shevlin have eight children ranging in age from six months to 13 years. Submitted photo

Leah, a professional photographer, said she has submitted other photos to Jones Soda before, but she was surprised to receive an email from the company announcing that the recent shot of Jake and Chevelle had been chosen for the promotion.

“I just thought it would be really cool to submit his photo for fun,” Leah said. “I really did not think anything would ever come of it. I just kind of did it and forgot about it until I got an email saying they wanted to use it.”

Jones Soda is expected to start production of the bottles with Jake’s pictures in early January. The products are available at some area supermarkets and convenience stores.

“It’s an honor,” Jake said. “I feel like I’m carrying a lot on my shoulders representing all truck drivers.”