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GoFundMe for Bills’ Damar Hamlin’s toy drive skyrockets

(WISH) — A GoFundMe set up for Damar Hamlin’s community toy drive in 2020 rose from $10,000 in donations to more than $.8.5 million on Monday, one week after the Buffalo Bills safety was hurt in an NFL game in Cincinnati.

As of 11 a.m. Monday, the fund was at $8.5 million from more than 244,000 donors. The original goal for the fund was $2,500.

Doctors believe Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest in the Monday game. Hamlin’s recovery was moving in “a positive direction,” the player’s marketing representative said Wednesday. The Bills said Wednesday that Hamlin remained hospitalized in critical condition but displayed signs of improvement on Tuesday and overnight. They said he was expected to remain in intensive care as his medical team continued to monitor and treat him.

Hamlin, who grew up in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, began with the Bills in 2021. He wrote when he created the GoFundMe for The Chasing M’s Foundation Community Toy Drive for his hometown on Dec. 14, 2020, “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.”

“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…Damar created The Chasing M’s Foundation to use as a vehicle to bring lasting impact to his community. The foundation supports toy drives, back-to-school drives, kids camps, and more.”

The Chasing M’s Foundation Community Toy Drive GoFundMe page

The Bills-Bengals game that was suspended Monday night after Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest will not be resumed this week and the Week 18 schedule remains unchanged, the NFL said Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.