Fans raise millions for Damar Hamlin's toy drive fundraiser after collapse

BUFFALO (WPRI) — The NFL community was rocked after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field during Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The 24-year-old is currently in critical condition after suffering cardiac arrest following a tackle during the first quarter.

Hamlin collapsed at 8:55 p.m., and when he was taken off the field about 19 minutes later the Bills gathered in prayer. A few minutes after the ambulance left the field, the game was suspended, and players walked off the field slowly and into their locker rooms.

When the game was officially postponed, a GoFundMe for his charity “Chasing M’s” started circulating through social media.

The online toy drive fundraiser was started by Hamlin in 2020 and had the original goal of raising $2,500. Since his collapse, fans have raised more than $3 million as of Tuesday morning.

“Following his injury on the field tonight, fans across the country are showing their support for him and his family by donating to his fundraiser,” GoFundMe tweeted Monday night.

Hamlin spent five years of college at Pittsburgh — his hometown — and appeared in 48 games for the Panthers over that span. He was a second-team All-ACC performer as a senior, was voted a team captain and was picked to play in the Senior Bowl.

He was drafted in the sixth round by the Bills in 2021, played in 14 games as a rookie and then became a starter this year once Micah Hyde was lost for the season to injury.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.