A fundraiser launched by Bills safety Damar Hamlin two years ago began receiving a windfall of kind-hearted donations from supporters after the player collapsed on the field during a game against the Bengals Monday night.
Hamlin’s community toy drive GoFundMe racked in more than $2 million as of early Tuesday with thousands of new donations coming in. The amount shattered his intended $2,500 goal back when he created the fundraiser in December 2020.
The 24-year-old player fell to the ground after making a tackle in a scary scene aired live on “Monday Night Football.” He was given CPR and taken to the University of Cincinnati Hospital as the game was suspended for the evening.
The second-year NFL player was rushed to a hospital, where he remains in critical condition.
Hamlin was put on a breathing tube and his vitals returned to normal in the hospital, his agent said.
The University of Pittsburgh grad founded his own charity called “Chasing Ms” in 2020 in order to use his platform to give back to others.
The inaugural initiative of his charity was the 2020 toy drive in which he raised money to purchase and donate toys to Kelly and Nina’s Daycare Center in his hometown of McKees, Pennsylvania.
“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 on the fundraiser page. ” I created The Chasing M’s Foundation as a vehicle that will allow me to deliver that impact, and the first program is the 2020 Community Toy Drive.”
One week ago, Hamlin hosted Chasing Ms’ third annual toy drive, according to his latest post on Instagram.
“We’re doing it for the kids, having a good time man,” Hamlin said in a video from the holiday toy drive.
The video shows the Bills player signing autographs, posing for photos and playing ball with the children.
Hamlin also has a clothing brand he launched under the same name, which stands for “Chasing Millions”, as his foundation.
The brand is “for those who have a dream and pursue it… It is for those who want something more and can’t settle to be average,” according to Hamlin’s Bills bio.
The safety has donated clothes from the brand to his area high school in Pittsburgh, Sto-Rox.
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