Damar Hamlin’s Toy Drive Fundraiser Hits $7 Million

Damar Hamlin / Instagram

In NFL games, it’s quite common to see players on the ground. In fact, it’s part of the game to get your opponent down. But, in one incredibly scary moment, one player went to the ground and did not get back up.

During the Cincinnati Bengals game versus the Buffalo Bills, Bills safety Damar Hamlin made a tackle and just moments later, collapsed.

He received immediate medical attention by paramedics who administered CPR for several minutes. It’s been reported he was down “for at least 15 minutes.” He was then taken off the field in an ambulance and taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Members of both NFL teams surrounded Hamlin to give him privacy as medical teams were working on him. Bills players were visibly emotional, with many shedding tears and waiting to walk off thew field until the ambulance drove away.

The game was suspended and postponed.

Damar’s friend and marketing rep Jordon Rooney gave an update on Damar’s condition around 7:30pm local time:

“His vitals are back to normal and they have put him to sleep to put a breathing tube down his throat. They are currently running tests.”

Late last night, the Buffalo Bills revealed what happened to Hamlin:

“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.”

The NFL announced that they have “made no decision regarding the possible resumption of the game at a later date.”

On Tuesday morning (Jan 3), Hamlin’s family released a statement thanking everyone for their thoughts and prayers.

“Please keep Damar in your prayers. We will release updates as soon as we have them.” 

See their full statement below.

On December 14, 2020, Hamlin organized an ongoing GoFundMe to raise money for his charity and toy drive. Before the accident, he had about $2,900. He first created it with the following note:

“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.”

As of press time, it is currently at $6,152,710! Big donations have come from Robert Kraft and The New England Patriots, Matthew Stafford, Russel and Ciara Wilson, Tom Brady, Davante Adams, the Washington Commanders, wrestler Chris Jericho, and Michael Phelps.

People started to find the GoFundMe and donate along with sending their thoughts and prayers. Someone on behalf of Damar posted an update on the GoFundMe saying, “This fundraiser was initially established to support a toy drive for Damar’s community, sponsored by the Chasing M’s Foundation. However, it 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 that is being used by the Hamlin Family. Again, thank you for your thoughts, prayers and generous support during this time.”

If you would like to contribute to Hamlin’s GoFundMe, click here.

On Christmas of 2022, Hamlin shared a video of how this past year’s toy drive fundraiser went.

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