Hubbard’s foundation sets new goal, triples haul since The Fumble in the Jungle
People are donating in increments of $9.80 and $98 signifying yards Hubbard ran after the game-changing fumble recovery.
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Donations are pouring into the charitable foundation of Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard after his late-game heroics Sunday night.
Baltimore quarterback Tyler Huntley tried to reach the ball over the goal line at the beginning of the fourth quarter of the Bengals-Ravens Wild Card playoff game at Paycor Stadium. Bengals linebacker Germaine Pratt stoned Huntley, fellow linebacker Logan Wilson punched the ball out and it fell into Hubbard’s waiting arms.
“The Cincinnati kid!” NBC’s Mike Tirico shouted as Hubbard, a Moeller grad and Ohio State alumnus, took the ball back 98 yards to give his hometown team the lead.
The Bengals’ win probability went from 46 percent to 88 percent following the play, per Next Gen Stats. It was the longest go-ahead TD in the 4th quarter and the longest fumble return TD in NFL postseason history, according to NFL Research.
The photo of Hubbard taking oxygen on the sidelines has since gone viral.
“He’s what this whole thing is built on: toughness, hard work, leadership. Those are the kind of guys we try to bring in here,” said quarterback Joe Burrow. “He’s one of my best friends. He comes up with big plays over and over again. He’s a great leader, gets his work done, a constant positive attitude in the locker room... exactly the kind of guy you want on your team.”
Fewer than 24 hours later, the Sam Hubbard Foundation’s phones are ringing off the hook, and emails are pouring in.
The foundation raised nearly $5,000 from more than 100 donors by Monday afternoon. Many donations came in increments of $9.80 and $98, according to a foundation spokesperson.
As of 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, a total of $13,824 has been donated to the foundation, the spokesperson said.
The new goal is to get to $30,000 which would then double because three companies have pledged to match $10,000 separately, according to the spokesperson.
Hubbard, a two-time Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award nominee, launched the foundation in 2021 aiming to combat hunger in Greater Cincinnati and provide vulnerable children and families with educational, medical and athletic resources.
The Cincinnati native gives back his Passion Plate project over Thanksgiving that offers homemade meals to hundreds of people in need. In 2021 and 2022, he and his family personally packed and handed out the meals at the Freestore Foodbank’s workforce development program, Cincinnati COOKS!, as well as at the Lighthouse Sheakley Center for Youth.
Hubbard also treats local children to holiday shopping sprees at his Shop with a Pro events.
In 2020, Hubbard launched a fundraiser to support the Freestore Foodbank during the COVID-19 pandemic. His efforts helped raise $85,000, which provided 250,000 meals to people in need in the Greater Cincinnati area.
Hubbard’s foundation took in more than $100,000 in January and February 2022 from fan donations during the Bengals’ Super Bowl run that year. That included $31,000 from parents, students and staff in the Southwest Local School District.
In October of last year, he launched a new program called Hubbard’s Cupboards to help provide students with basic school needs and healthy snacks throughout the year.
“It was really just coming up with things that we could do to make an impact,” Hubbard said at the time, adding the best part of his foundation is getting to see the joy it brings to kids.
Learn more about Hubbard’s foundation and its programs here.
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