A bright spot from a heartbreaking situation.
It seems like pretty much the whole country watched in shock last night as Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field during the team’s Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Hamlin received CPR for 9 minutes before being loaded into an ambulance and taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he was reportedly intubated and in critical condition.
According to the Bills, Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest during the game, following his tackle on Bengals receiver Tee Higgins.
Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in our game versus the Bengals. His heartbeat was restored on the field and he was transferred to the UC Medical Center for further testing and treatment. He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition.
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 3, 2023
The game was ultimately postponed about an hour after Hamlin’s injury after initially being suspended.
Obviously after such a terrifying scene, nothing else really mattered but Hamlin’s condition and his well-being. But as thoughts and prayers began to pour in from all over, a GoFundMe created by Hamlin in 2020 for his Chasing M’s foundation quickly began to spread online – and people from all over started pitching in.
The online fundraiser was started by Hamlin while he was still at the University of Pittsburgh to raise money to purchase toys for children in his hometown on McKees Rock, Pennsylvania.
According to the fundraiser’s description:
“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. 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.
This campaign gives you the opportunity to contribute to our first initiative and positively impact children who have been hardest hit by the pandemic. 100% of the funds raised will go toward the purchase of toys for kids in need.”
And since being signed by the Bills, Hamlin has also expanded his efforts to Buffalo, continuing the toy drives in both his hometown back Pennsylvania and in his new city.
The fundraiser had reached its original goal of $2,500, having raised just under $3,000 as of the end of 2022.
But as fans held their breath waiting for updates about Hamlin’s condition Monday night, the link to the campaign began to spread on social media. And people wanting to support Hamlin stepped up in a BIG way.
As of this morning, the GoFundMe is currently up to $3.7 MILLION, with over 140,000 individual donations. Many of the messages of support show that it’s fans of all teams around the NFL who are donating to Hamlin’s foundation, and even 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey and QB Trey Lance have added their names to the list.
The foundation was verified by Hamlin’s marketing manager, who tweeted out the link as a legitimate way to donate.
Damars parents wanted me to get this out there:
Beware of people requesting cash app donations and making GoFundMe’s.
If you do want to support Damar’s foundation, his initial toy drive campaign has turned into the central location for that. https://t.co/9jIDfD54zF
— Jordon Rooney (@jordonr) January 3, 2023
Pretty damn cool to see so many people coming together for a good cause in such a difficult time.
This content was originally published here.