Sam Hubbard’s foundation blows past fundraising goal after ‘The Fumble in the Jungle’

Hubbard is the Bengals’ 2022 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award nominee
Bengals talk first game with Buffalo
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 6:30 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Less than a week after Sam Hubbard’s historic runback touchdown at Paycor Stadium, his foundation has secured more than $60,000 to combat hunger in Greater Cincinnati and provide vulnerable children and families with educational, medical and athletic resources.

The donations began pouring in Sunday night after the Cincinnati native rumbled into the end zone in a play that has since become immortalized as “The Fumble in the Jungle.

Here’s how it happened: 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 call from Bengals announcer Dan Hoard will also give you chills.]

Monday morning, the foundation’s team arrived to find their email inboxes flooded and the phones ringing off the hook. Nearly $5,000 came in overnight from more than 100 donors, many giving in increments of $9.80 and $98 to signify the yards Hubbard ran after his game-changing fumble recovery.

“It’s been awesome seeing the outpouring of love for Sam!” A spokesperson said.

Later Monday, the foundation set a goal of $30,000 in individual donations, which would trigger three separate $10,000 donations in corporate matches from SugarCreek, Warm Construction and ProLink Staffing.

The foundation achieved that goal late Thursday.

As of Friday morning, more than 730 individual donors have given $31,889. With the corporate matches, that brings total donations to $61,889 with more donations still coming in.

Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard runs back a fumble for a touchdown against the...
Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard runs back a fumble for a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens at Paycor Stadium.(Sam Greene/The Enquirer)

Hubbard, a two-time Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award nominee, launched the foundation in 2021.

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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