Damar Hamlin's GoFundMe hits $7 million after Bills safety's cardiac arrest on 'Monday Night Football'
The initial goal of Hamlin's hometown toy drive was $2,500
If there's hope to be taken from the terrifying situation around Damar Hamlin, it comes straight from the Buffalo Bills safety's two-year-old GoFundMe.
Two days after Hamlin's collapse and hospitalization caused the suspension of a "Monday Night Football" game, his only available public fundraiser has reached a total of $7 million. The original goal of the GoFundMe, set up to fund a toy drive in his hometown of McKees Rocks, Pa., was $2,500.
Over 220,000 people have donated to the cause.
Hamlin's representatives updated the GoFundMe page Wednesday, saying they were "awestruck" at the "support and generosity" shown over the past two days. They vowed to continue to update the fundraiser and said they were "hopeful about Damar's future involvement."
We're simply awestruck by the level of support and generosity we've seen over the past two days. With over $6 million raised, this fundraiser has become an overnight reminder of the incredible nature of humankind. Your actions directly reflect the type of human Damar is himself.
As representatives of Damar, the team at Jaster Athletes posted the fundraiser updates and will work with the Hamlin family, The Chasing M's Foundation, and the GoFundMe team to ensure the safe delivery of funds.
Because the situation is evolving, we'll continue to communicate any updates on the fundraiser. We will also work with GoFundMe to email all donors with more specifics regarding the use of funds as those details are available. As you can imagine, this has been a challenging time for the family. We appreciate your understanding as we give them the time and space they need to focus on Damar's health first.
We're hopeful about Damar's future involvement in disbursing the incredibly generous contributions. We thank you again for your support and look forward to updating you along the way.
Hamlin showed "signs of improvement" Tuesday and overnight into Wednesday, the Bills announced.
The GoFundMe was also updated Tuesday, acknowledging the circumstances and thanking all the donors for their support. The update stated the new money would go to "Damar’s community initiatives and his current fight":
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.
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.
One of the biggest donations, at $3,000, was under the name of New Orleans Saints quarterback Andy Dalton and his wife Jordan, who received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from Bills fans in 2018 when Andy's Cincinnati Bengals helped clinch a playoff berth for Buffalo.
Other names on the top donation list are Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay with $25,003, Patriots owner Robert Kraft with an $18,003 donation, Tom Brady with $10,000, Russell Wilson and Ciara with $10,000 and Matthew Stafford with $12,000, plus names like Devin McCourty, Jason McCourty, Andrew Whitworth, Erin Andrews, Brian Hoyer, Chris Jericho, Ahmad Gardner, Sean McVay, Mike Evans, Davante Adams, Shannon Sharpe, Mac Jones, Drake London, Michael Phelps and George Kittle.
Damar Hamlin remains in critical condition after on-field cardiac arrest
As of Tuesday, Hamlin was hospitalized in Cincinnati after going into cardiac arrest in the first quarter of the Bill's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The 24-year-old took a hit to the chest in a collision with Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins, then collapsed after initially getting up.
The haunting scene saw players from both teams massed around Hamlin as he received CPR, as people across the sports world expressed shock and support for an athlete only two years out of college. The game was temporarily suspended after Hamlin was taken off the field via ambulance, then indefinitely postponed.
The NFL later announced the Bills-Bengals game will not be resumed this week, with no change to the Week 18 schedule.
The Bills announced Tuesday morning saying Hamlin remains in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center after his heartbeat was restored on the field, while the player's family released a statement thanking fans for their support, as well as first responders and hospital personnel.
Hamlin, a sixth-round pick out of Pittsburgh in the 2021 NFL draft, ascended to starting status this year after a season-ending injury to All-Pro Micah Hyde. In 15 games with 13 starts, he posted 91 total tackles, six tackles for loss, two passes defended and 1.5 sacks.