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Damar Hamlin’s Incredible Drive

Last Updated: January 4, 2023
As Damar Hamlin receives treatment in a Cincinnati hospital, fans around the world have raised over $4 million for his toy drive.

Update on Jan. 4: Fans around the world have raised over $6 million.

For what seemed like an eternity on Monday night, players, fans, and reporters could only watch. Damar Hamlin’s teammates on the Buffalo Bills knelt around him, while his opponents on the Cincinnati Bengals — adversaries only moments before — offered hugs and were visibly shaken after Hamlin collapsed on the field.

After Hamlin left for University of Cincinnati Medical Center via ambulance, ESPN’s Lisa Salters was brought to tears in her reporting, with the rest of the broadcast crew battling emotions of their own. Stefon Diggs joined fans in prayer outside the hospital as they awaited word on Hamlin’s condition.

Amid the terrifying moment, fans around the world came together and offered prayers of their own and supportive messages on social media. Perhaps the nicest gesture of them all were the thousands who have donated to the 24-year-old’s “Chasing M’s Foundation Community Toy Drive” on GoFundMe.

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All we know right now is that Hamlin remains in critical condition after suffering cardiac arrest during Monday Night Football. But as we wait to learn more and as the medical staff in Cincinnati does everything it can for him, fans have raised over $4 million for the GoFundMe. Before the injury, Hamlin set a goal for $2,500.

Hamlin’s foundation started in 2020 to help kids have a special Christmas — a campaign that would help purchase toys for children affected by the pandemic in his hometown of McKees Rocks, Pa.

At the time, he wrote on the GoFundMe page: “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.”

Bills fans have a reputation for reacting to tragedy by donating to the foundations or charities of those involved. Most recently, they raised $1.1 million to build a new wing at a local hospital when quarterback Josh Allen lost his grandmother. That came after raising $75,000 for Lamar Jackson‘s favorite charity after he suffered a concussion in the 2021 playoffs.

The NFL suspended the game between the Bills and Bengals. If or when they finally complete it seems to be, rightfully, the last thing on everyone’s mind.

You can donate to Hamlin’s Chasing M’s Foundation Community Toy Drive here.

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About The Author
Anthony Puccio
Anthony Puccio
Anthony Puccio is a Staff Writer at Boardroom. Puccio has 10 years of experience in journalism and content creation, previously working for SB Nation, The Associated Press, New York Daily News, SNY, and Front Office Sports. In 2016, he received New York University's CCTOP scholarship and earned a bachelor's degree in Communications from St. John's University. He can be spotted a mile away thanks to his plaid suits and thick New York accent. Don't believe us? Check his Twitter @APooch.