An online fundraiser hosted by Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin to buy toys for underprivileged children exploded by millions of dollars after he collapsed on the field during Monday night’s football game.
Hamlin collapsed with about six minutes left in the first quarter after he tackled Cincinnati Bengals receiver Tee Higgins after a 13-yard catch. After the tackle, Hamlin got up, took a step backward, and fell to the ground.
“Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in our game versus the Bengals,” the team said in a statement. “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.”
Hamlin’s fundraiser was created in 2020 to deliver toys to “Kelly and Nina’s Daycare Center” in Pennsylvania. The original goal set for the fundraiser was $2,500.
A cached version of the fundraiser page showed that before the tragedy from last night’s game, the fundraiser had only raised $2,921.
However, following his being taken off the field in an ambulance, donations to the page surged, topping more than $3.1 million by the early morning hours on Tuesday.
Hamlin’s fundraiser states:
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. The time to act is now, as we will be distributing toys on December 22nd from 3:30 to 5:30 PM from Kelly and Nina’s Daycare Center at 800 Russellwood Ave., McKees Rocks, PA 15136.
If you are not able to contribute monetarily, you can support this initiative in other ways. We are accepting donated toys at the Daycare Center or simply spread the word by sharing this fundraiser on your social channels.
Thank you so much for supporting me on and off the field. I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with you to help make the holiday season a little brighter for the kids in our community.
The New York Times reported that medical professionals administered CPR on the 24-year-old athlete while a stunned stadium of tens of thousands of fans, and millions more watching at home, looked on.
Joe Buck, ESPN’s play-by-play broadcaster, said that the network was given a heads-up that teams had five minutes to warm back up to get ready to resume gameplay.
However, Troy Vincent, the executive vice president of the NFL’s football operations, suggested that was not true in remarks to reporters after the game.
“Neither coach was talking about resuming play, the players were not thinking of resuming play,” said Vincent. “How do you resume play after seeing such a traumatic event?”
“It wasn’t about proceeding with the game,” Vincent added. “The competitive aspect never crossed my mind, never crossed our minds.”