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CINCINNATI, OHIO - JANUARY 02: Fans look on as the ambulance leaves carrying Damar Hamlin #3 of the Buffalo Bills after he collapsed after making a tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at Paycor Stadium on January 02, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Fans rally for Damar Hamlin through toy drive

Fans raise more than $3 million overnight for Hamlin toy drive

A sense of helplessness could be felt soon after Damar Hamlin collapsed Monday night. The eyes of the sports world turned to Cincinnati’s Paycor Stadium, where the Buffalo Bills’ safety collapsed after making a tackle against the Bengals.

Some of Hamlin’s teammates could be seen in tears as medical personnel administered CPR on the 24-year-old. By all accounts, Hamlin is a beloved teammate and devoted son.

Fans and media rushed to learn more about the former University of Pitt star. Fans then rallied behind one of McKees Rocks, Penn., native’s charitable endeavors. 

Damar Hamlin devoted to roots

In less than two hours after Hamlin collapsed, $300,000 was donated to a GoFundMe plea that he started while at Pitt in 2020. More than $3 million was donated overnight for the account that originally listed $2,500 as a goal.

“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 on the GoFundMe account. “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.”

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Fans and businesses from all over the world donated to the Toy Drive. 

“Prayers for Damar Hamlin from a Bills Fan from Switzerland. Get well soon, Damar!” wrote Marco Schneider, who donated $10.

GIANTS NATION STANDS WITH BILLS MAFIA! Prayers going up for Damar!” wrote Jennifer McSparron, who donated $50.

Heartbeat restored at stadium

Hamlin was taken by ambulance to UC Medical Center after his heartbeat was restored at the stadium. The NFL eventually postponed the Bills-Bengals game.  

“Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in our game versus the Bengals,” the Bills said in a statement early Tuesday morning. “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 is in his second season in the NFL after starring at Pitt. 

Damar Hamlin vowed to ‘positively impact’

He held his initial toy drive on Dec. 22, 2020 at Kelly and Nina’s Daycare Center in his hometown of McKees Rocks.

“This campaign gives you the opportunity to contribute to our first initiative and positively impact children who have been hardest hit by the pandemic,” he wrote on the GoFundMe post. “100% of the funds raised will go toward the purchase of toys for kids in need.”

Hamlin was the one in need on Monday night. NFL stars, his alma mater, college athletes and fans offered prayers via social media.

It was a helpless feeling to watch Damar Hamlin on the field. Everybody seemingly wanted to do something to help him and show support. In the old toy drive, fans found a way to show their support and love for Hamlin.

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