May 26, 2023

Jennifer Vaughan Honored with Spirit of Virginia Beach Award for Exceptional Volunteerism

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Jennifer Vaughn

Jennifer Vaughan, a volunteer at the Virginia Beach Housing Resource Center (HRC), was recently honored with the 2023 Wayne McCoy Spirit of Virginia Beach award by the Virginia Beach Rotary Club for her exceptional volunteerism. Nominated by the Office of Volunteer Resources and Resiliency for her work at the HRC, she is the backbone of the volunteer program there, having contributed more than 3,000 hours of service since the building opened in 2018.

The Housing Resource Center is a one-stop shop where people experiencing homelessness or a housing crisis are connected to resources on their journey home. Jennifer was involved in the early planning of the building and has made a wide range of contributions, from small acts as an ambassador greeting and escorting guests and clients throughout the facility, to large projects such as working with service providers to develop and manage a mail system, that for many participants, is a lifeline.

Jennifer’s commitment to making homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring in Virginia Beach is significant. It is built on 12 years as a full-time volunteer with Potter’s House at Virginia Beach United Methodist Church, serving as head of mission outreach. There she became intimately familiar with homelessness. Upon retirement from Potter’s House, Jennifer chose to make the HRC her volunteer home and contributes 15-20 hours per week.

“The impact she has made is a testament that the quality of one’s volunteer service cannot be measured by the number of hours alone,” said Diane Hotaling, Housing and Neighborhood Preservation’s volunteer and community engagement coordinator. “There has not been a day in the 35 years Jennifer has served in a volunteer capacity that she hasn’t lived elements of the Rotary Club’s motto, ‘Service Above Self.’”

Jennifer says she gets more than she gives as a volunteer and that one of her favorite parts about volunteering at the HRC is seeing longtime friends get into housing. Her experiences have introduced her to people from all walks of life and taught her how to love people for who they are and where they are. Learning the different barriers to housing has helped her better understand the struggles some people have and deliver care that helps them succeed in housing.

The Virginia Beach Rotary Club has been recognizing outstanding City service for decades as a way to highlight the many critical functions City employees and volunteers perform every day. The Spirit of Virginia Beach was named for the late Rotarian Wayne McCoy, who himself was a dedicated volunteer for many years for the City of Virginia Beach.

Virginia Beach has several opportunities for you to donate your talents. Learn more at and view all the opportunities available.

Contact Information

Office of Volunteer Resources

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