Inside Hubbard House

Volunteer Spotlight: Rachel Hart, Miss Northeast Florida

Volunteers founded Hubbard House in 1976, and today our volunteers continue to serve a vital role in every aspect of the agency. Why are volunteers so important to Hubbard House? Volunteers contribute their time and energy, their ideas and ideals. They increase our visibility in the community, expand our capacity to provide services, and send a strong message of caring to our clients.

It is because of the support and generosity given by Hubbard House volunteers and donors that we are able to provide services to more than 5,000 women, children, and men annually and ensure that their hope for peace, dreams of tomorrow, and strength for their children are not lost.

This volunteer spotlight focuses on Rachel Hart, who is the current Miss Northeast Florida. Rachel established her organization, “A Hart for Young Hearts”, nine years ago to help underprivileged children in her community. She recently donated her time and resources to host a birthday party for the children living at the shelter in July. We spoke with Rachel about her experience volunteering at Hubbard House.

Why did you decide to donate time and resources to Hubbard House?  I decided to donate my time and resources to Hubbard House because I visited the facility about a year ago and fell in love with the purpose of Hubbard House. The residents are normal people that are in an unfortunate situation. I would love to do anything I can to help brighten the day of any mother or child living here.

What made you get connected with Hubbard House?  My first visit to Hubbard House was through a mission project that I headed up at my church. My youth group and I raised money to stuff Christmas stockings with presents for each child and brought them to the Hubbard House. We got to tour the building and learn about the programs. It was then that I decided I would continue volunteering with Hubbard House.

What has your volunteer experience with Hubbard House meant to you?  Volunteerism is very important to me because I feel that it is how God calls me to share His love. Every time I volunteer I am humbled by the people that I meet, and my time with the children at Hubbard House was no different. They were so excited to have another playmate that by the end of the day they were chasing me around the room to be tickled! They’re just normal kids that, for the time being, don’t have a “normal” home life to return to. They reminded me of how important it is to treat everyone you meet with the same love that they showed me.

If you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities available at Hubbard House please visit or contact Tracy Knight at (904) 354-0076 ext. 251 or

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: Founded as the first domestic violence shelter in Florida 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 childcare, batterers’ intervention programs, court advocacy and volunteer and community education opportunities. Visit to learn more.