NFL Safety

Damar Hamlin’s Toy Drive Has Received More Than $4.5 Million Since His Football Injury

The Buffalo Bills safety started the charity when he was still in college.

CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 02: The Buffalo Bills circle up as play is suspended after Buffalo Bills sa...
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On January 2, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest moments after standing up from a tackle during a Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The 24-year-old is still in critical condition, according to his team, and fans have shown an outpouring of support, by donating to a GoFundMe started by Hamlin to raise money for an annual toy drive. The fund has received more than $4.5 million in donations since his shocking injury on the field.

Hamlin started the GoFundMe in 2020 when he was still a college football player at Pittsburgh, and the initial goal was to raise $2,500 for a toy drive put on by Chasing M’s Foundation.

“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,” Hamlin said of the foundation, which supports toy drives, back-to-school drives, kids camps, and more in his community.

He continued, "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."

An update to the GoFundMe acknowledged the overwhelming amount of renewed support: “[I]t has received renewed support in light of Damar’s current battle, and we can’t thank all of you enough. Your generosity and compassion mean the world to us.

“If you would like to show your support and contribute to Damar’s community initiatives and his current fight, this is the place to do so. This is the only current fund being used by the Hamlin Family.

“Again, thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and generous support.”

After Hamlin collapsed on the field and suffered cardiac arrest, doctors performed CPR on the 24-year-old NFL player for 10 minutes and were able to restore his heartbeat, according to a statement from the Buffalo Bills. He remains in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

The shocking injury has reopened conversations about the health risks of tackle football.