The donations have poured in to a toy drive organized by Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin after the 24-year-old collapsed on the field during a game between the Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals Monday night.
Hamlin was in critical condition Monday night after collapsing following what appeared to be a routine tackle in the first quarter of the Monday Night Football game at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati. After being treated on the field for several minutes, Hamlin was transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and the game was officially postponed.
Hamlin was drafted by the Bills in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of Pittsburgh University. Hamlin grew up outside Pittsburgh in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania. As part of giving back to his hometown community, Hamlin's organization The Chasing M's Foundation was working to raise money for a toy drive for local children.
"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 a GoFundMe campaign. "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."
Hamlin posted on Instagram just last week, boasting the success of his third annual toy drive. The GoFundMe campaign for the drive had initial goal of $2,500. Hours after the news that Hamlin was hospitalized, his GoFundMe campaign has received hundreds of donations and raised more than $5.5 million as of Tuesday evening.
"Sending love and prayers from a Seahawks fan. We’re all a part of Bills nation tonight," one contributor wrote.
"Sending prayers to you and your family and the team. Thank you for what you do in your community what a blessing you are. God bless you," wrote another.
Hamlin remains hospitalized Monday night.
"Our thoughts are with Damar and the Buffalo Bills. We will provide more information as it becomes available," the league said in a statement. "The NFL has been in constant communication with the NFL Players Association which is in agreement with postponing the game."