We are excited to share that LaVaughn Tilton is a recipient of The Jefferson Award for outstanding public service. The Jefferson Awards Foundation is a national foundation and considered America’s gold seal of public service. The award honors leaders in schools, communities, workplaces and the world. The Jefferson Awards are the country’s most prestigious and longest standing public service award. As their website states, “In sharing the stories of America’s best citizens, we empower them to do more and inspire all to take action”.
LaVaughn’s legacy began 30 years ago when she founded Hibiscus Children’s Center. On October 24, 1989, the very first child walked through the doors of what was affectionately referred to as “Hibiscus House”. Since that time, LaVaughn’s vision to protect and save the lives of abused children has grown tremendously to include our Village, Mental Health Services and community programs that help to change the lives of children and families.
LaVaughn's Story ....
Her amazing journey began In 1985. LaVaughn was already a concerned citizen and passionate advocate for abused children. As she sat on the board of the Center for Prevention of Child Abuse, a non-profit that trained volunteers to work with abusive parents, LaVaughn asked the question, “What about the children? We don’t have any facilities for them”.
Catapulted by the news of a senseless and tragic death of a child at the hands of his own father, this already concerned citizen helped drive her community into action. LaVaughn and her family launched a campaign across the Treasure Coast that galvanized the community to stand up for abused children and ensure they had a safe place to temporarily call home. Her quest to create what would become the Treasure Coast’s only licensed emergency shelter for abused children, ages birth to 12, inspired builders, contractors and local citizens to embrace this vision for a safe haven for children. With the building’s construction funded by private donations of property, materials, services and funds, Hibiscus Children’s Shelter opened debt-free in 1989 with twelve beds, on a foundation of community support almost totally unheard of today.
There is no imaginable way to measure the thousands of lives that LaVaughn has touched through her dream of moving towards a safer tomorrow for children. The many accomplishments of Hibiscus Children’s Center is a reflection of the solid foundation and vision that LaVaughn has bestowed upon this organization. LaVaughn has expressed numerous times that Hibiscus Children’s Center is fulfilling the dream she had 30 years ago to make life better for children. Without a doubt, because of LaVaughn’s determination, passion and dedication to put her concerns into action, Hibiscus Children’s Center has been thrust to the forefront of children’s issues and has given countless children the hope of a better and brighter tomorrow.
WPTV - Channel 5 (West Palm Beach) is the region host for this award. LaVaughn’s interview was aired on Channel 5 on March 31st. Please join us in congratulating LaVaughn Tilton for her very special and incredible accomplishments. She has truly impacted the lives of thousands of children in our communtiy and we will be forever grateful for her unwavering dedication to make life better for children.