A Heart to Help

Hubbard House Volunteers Built and Sustain This House of Hope

When you consider the impact volunteers have on an organization, it’s common to say an organization wouldn’t be here without the support of volunteers. For Hubbard House, that couldn’t be truer.

Hubbard House was founded by a passionate group of volunteers, who knew there was a need to support survivors of domestic violence in the Jacksonville area. A couple of those volunteers were riding bikes down Hubbard Street in the Springfield area, saw a house up for sale and the rest is history.

But it didn’t end there.

Since our founding in 1976, volunteers have been a backbone of Hubbard House. Some bring together friends or colleagues to volunteer as a group, others step up with their own time. To this day, hundreds of people donate thousands of hours of their time each year. Every single one of those hours matters with the many different facets of life-saving, life-changing work Hubbard House does.

In Shelter, that means stocking pantries, connecting participants to advocates, supporting children’s programming, and staffing the 24/7 Hotline and Textline. Through our outreach services, that means advocating for survivors and their children in countless ways, in Duval and Baker counties. At our Thrift Store, that means processing the wonderful community donations we receive to support the needs of survivors.

But it doesn’t end there.

When we need mulch put down? Hubbard House volunteers answer our call. When we need someone to host a party for kids in shelter? Hubbard House volunteers answer our call. When we need help running major events – from holidays programming to our annual Stand Up & Stride Domestic Violence Awareness Walk – Hubbard House volunteers answer our call.

And they don’t only answer the call, they make it. Do we need help with a special project? Are there some events coming up they can support? Do we have any donation-related needs they can rally people behind? Our volunteers are constantly looking to not just sustain, but grow, their support.

Even during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when Hubbard House continued to support survivors, but volunteers couldn’t come on-site, they didn’t just stay to the side. They engaged with us from their homes and offices – organizing donation drives, creating activity kits for kids, supporting administrative needs and so much more.

 And we know, it won’t end there.

Our volunteers are driven by their deep passion to not only support survivors of domestic violence but raise awareness in our community. They attend community events and connect us to opportunities to present about how to support survivors and the free, confidential support Hubbard House provides. They understand how important it is to create social change, so we can see a future where the vision of Hubbard House is fulfilled: every relationship violence-free.

It would be hard to find a more passionate group of people, than those who support and volunteer with Hubbard House.

So during this National Volunteer Week, our message to our volunteers: whether you have contributed a few hours or been with us for years, thank you doesn’t do justice to the appreciation we have for you. We truly couldn’t do this without you.

Survivors of domestic violence are not alone – and will never be alone – because Hubbard House and our amazing volunteers will always be here.

If you are interested in volunteering for Hubbard House, please email volunteer@hubbardhouse.org to learn more!


ian-with-giftcardsCoast Guard GMC Ian Keane serves the community by day and, through his volunteer efforts with Hubbard House, also on many of his days off, nights and weekends! What has his experience been like? We asked and he answered. Below, find the responses of the honorable Ian – military man, toy store decorator, gift card raiser, walk worker and all around great friend.

(Thanks, Ian, for everything!)

Tell us about the first time you volunteered for Hubbard House.

The first time I volunteered for Hubbard House, I was invited by a coworker to help sort toys and set up the holiday store. A group of five or six of us showed up, and we were told to turn the room into a winter wonderland. Since I enjoy volunteering and was working with so many fellow military members, we accomplished a lot and the time flew by.

Before I knew it, it was time to leave, but not until some of the staff came in. Seeing the awe and appreciation on their faces and the tears in their eyes made it unlike most volunteer efforts that I am a part of. In addition, we were given a tour of the facility and got an overview of all Hubbard House provides.

Since that first time, you’ve continued to volunteer in a variety of ways: you’ve raised funds, helped with special events, and led teams that help at the holidays. Share with us a favorite memory.

Each opportunity has been equally rewarding. However, my favorite memory actually happened this year. While sorting toys, a mom was shopping for her kids in the toy store. She walked in and was instantly overwhelmed. Seeing her being blessed by the generosity of strangers warmed my heart. Even the coworkers I brought said their faith in humanity was restored a bit. To see the positive impact that Hubbard House and the volunteers have on these victims is priceless. To be a part of that and to show unconditional love to complete strangers who may never have experienced it is so rewarding.

You’ve been volunteering for Hubbard House for years! What keeps you coming back to us?

My love of helping others keeps me coming back. When I joined the Coast Guard I told the recruiter that I want to help people. I wanted to give some stranger a second chance at life, whether through stopping drugs or performing a rescue at sea. Through Hubbard House, you get to see the life changing work that is being done every time you are there. The mission of Hubbard House is also dear to my heart as my wife was verbally abused by her father for more than 20 years. No woman or person should ever have to face physical or emotional abuse, period. I am proud to help such an honorable organization.

We are so grateful to Ian and all of our volunteers. We simply couldn’t do this work without the support of caring people, like him, them, and you. If you’re interested in exploring Hubbard House volunteer opportunities, contact Outreach Engagement Coordinator Alexis (Lexi) Carpenter at volunteers@hubbardhouse.org. We hope to see you around the halls of Hubbard House.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship please call the Hubbard House 24-hour domestic violence hot-line at (904) 354-3114 or (800) 500-1119. Hubbard House can help.

ABOUT HUBBARD HOUSE: Hubbard House is a full-service certified domestic violence center providing prevention and intervention to domestic violence survivors and their families in Duval and Baker counties in Northeast Florida.


Volunteer Spotlight: Abby McGeathey

aaaaaaaaaaHubbard House is honored to recognize Abby McGeathey for June’s volunteer spotlight. The agency is very fortunate that Abby has found time in her busy schedule as full-time mom to care for others within our Emergency Shelter. Volunteers are a vital part of Hubbard House! Without giving individuals willing to donate their time and resources, our mission of “Every Relationship Violence-Free” would not even be a possibility. Thank you Abby for all that you do for the families that stay in our Emergency Shelter!

Why did you decide to donate time and resources to Hubbard House?

My decision to postpone full-time employment until my youngest child went into Kindergarten meant that there would be a valuable period of time between graduating college and going back to work full-time in which I could do volunteer work. I felt that volunteering at the Hubbard House would be a great opportunity to give back to my community, gain valuable work experience without the commitment of a full-time job, and help me pinpoint my career interests within the field of social work.

What made you get connected with Hubbard House?

I researched an entire list of non-profit organizations within Northeast Florida in which to volunteer. I chose Hubbard House personally because, as with many others, I have been touched by domestic violence and want to support and empower the men, women, and children seeking “Every Relationship Violence-Free.”   Professionally, Hubbard House offers many different types of work settings and job experiences from within one organization and volunteer opportunities are offered around the clock.

What has the volunteering experience meant to you?

Every time that I leave the Hubbard House I realize I have learned something new about myself, domestic violence, my community, or the human experience in general. Volunteering at the Hubbard House has broadened my horizons and enabled me to do two of my favorite things, better my community and quench my thirst for learning.

If you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities available at Hubbard House please visit http://www.hubbardhouse.org/help/volunteering.

If you or someone you know is affected by domestic/dating violence please call the Hubbard House 24-hour domestic violence hotline at (904) 354-3114 or (800) 500-1119. Hubbard House can help.

ABOUT HUBBARD HOUSE: Founded in 1976, Hubbard House is a certified, comprehensive domestic violence center providing programs and services to more than 5,000 women, children and men annually in Duval and Baker counties. While Hubbard House is most known for its emergency shelter, the agency also provides extensive adult and youth outreach services, school-based education, therapeutic child care, batterers’ intervention programs, court advocacy and volunteer and community education opportunities. Visit http://www.hubbardhouse.org to learn more.

By: Amy Riggan and Tracy Knight