Posted by Doreen Higgins on May 28, 2018
Herb Hubbard is the Chaplain of the Savannah YMCA organization. A native of Savannah and a graduate of its high school system, a pastor in Savannah and elsewhere, Herb told us how delighted he is to be back here. And what does he do?  A myriad of things as a leader of the local YMCAs.  He works with the Red Cross, Goodwill, Democrats and Republicans, FEMA, the Salvation Army, and faces issues with kids, work readiness, evacuations, medical problems, fund raising and legal issues.  To put his work in perspective, Herb gave us a bit of background information for the YMCA.
The YMCA was founded in London, England in 1864 as a Bible Study Group. Its mission was described as “Put(ting) Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit in mind and body for all.”  Now, Herb told us, “We are just around the corner.”  In the US there are 2700 YMCAs, and 7 million households and 35 million children under 14 (60% of all children of this age) are within 3 miles of a YMCA.  Many things now commonplace in our society started at the “Y”:  basketball, volleyball, softball and racquetball; the Boy Scouts of America and the Peace Corps were organized by leaders of the “Y”.  The YMCA of Coastal Georgia serves Bryan, Bulloch, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, and McIntosh counties.  It has 10 facility locations, 55 before/after school sites and three full day learning centers.
In his presentation, Herb showed us pictures of the many services of the local “Y” in action: the after -school reading program, the distribution of fresh food to those in need, adults playing in the “Y” sports program, adults and children camping, a math and reading program at DeRenne Middle School and Effingham County Middle School, children swimming and learning water safety rules. At the time of the last hurricane in this area, IRMA, the “Y” was able to offer shelter, access to hot showers and (oh, magic!) electrical power.
Herb told us that he welcomes all to the YMCAs; he takes no account of their beliefs, their age, color, or any other such characteristics; they need help, exercise, advice, food, legal, educational skills, etc., etc., he does his best to provide help, donations, guidance, and referrals where he can.  He has experience with many in the military, some of whom suffer from PTSD; a couple recently asked him to marry them in one of the squares, he helps with fund raisers for the YMCAs – he is a busy person.  We thanked him for visiting us and asked him, “How does the YWCA fit into the YMCA sphere?  Herb told us that it is, at present, an entirely separate organization; perhaps, one day, that will change.
Below is a photo of Herb Hubbard and President Toni.