Fans Raise $4.5 Million for Injured Buffalo Bills Player’s Toy Charity

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
January 3, 2023Sportsshare
Fans Raise $4.5 Million for Injured Buffalo Bills Player’s Toy Charity
Damar Hamlin #3 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates after a tackle during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, on Nov. 13, 2022. (Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images)

An online charity for children that was launched by injured Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin has raised nearly $4.5 million in donations after the NFL player suddenly collapsed during the “Monday Night Football” game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Hamlin created the GoFundMe page dubbed “The Chasing M’s Foundation Community Toy Drive” after the Bills drafted him in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

The initial goal of the fundraiser was set at $2,500, and prior to Hamlin suffering cardiac arrest on the field on Monday, the page narrowly passed that goal,
according to an archived version of the page.

Since Hamlin’s hospitalization, donations have poured in. At the time of this writing, the page stands at $4.5 million raised, and it is still going up fast.

“As I embark on my journey to the NFL, I will never forget where I come from and I am committed to using my platform to positively impact the community that raised me,” Hamlin wrote in the description of the fundraiser at the time he created it.

“This campaign gives you the opportunity to contribute to our first initiative and positively impact children who have been hardest hit by the pandemic,” he continued, noting that 100 percent of the raised funds will go toward the purchase of toys for children in need.

The official Twitter account of GoFundMe also verified the fundraiser on Monday, saying Hamlin initially started it “to help kids have a magical Christmas.”

Bills Issue Update

During the first quarter as the Bengals led the game 7–3, the 24-year-old NFL star collapsed after attempting to tackle Cincinnati wide receiver Tee Higgins.

After the incident, Hamlin remained on the ground for several minutes and had to get CPR from medical staff before he was rushed out of Cincinnati’s Paycor Stadium to the UC Medical Center for treatment.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Bills gave an update on Hamlin’s condition, saying “his heartbeat was restored on the field” and he is currently undergoing “further testing and treatment.”

The team also noted that he is “currently sedated and listed in critical condition.”

Buffalo Bills v Cincinnati Bengals
Buffalo Bills players huddle in prayer after teammate Damar Hamlin #3 collapsed on the field after making a tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Jan. 2, 2023. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

After Hamlin’s injury, which took place with 5:58 remaining in the first quarter, the NFL suspended the game until another date. The league has not yet decided when the game will be resumed.

Hamlin was selected as the No. 212 overall pick in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft after a college career at the University of Pittsburgh, playing 14 games in his first NFL season. For the 2022–23 season, Hamlin played all 16 games until the injury.

Jack Phillips contributed to this report.

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