Quick Bit: The “Chasing M’s Foundation Community Toy Drive” has raised nearly $8 million since Damar Hamlin’s scary medical emergency.
Damar Hamlin continues to “progress remarkably” following a scary cardiac arrest incident on Monday night. His recovery battle over the past few days has captured the attention of the national media — and also inspired many to be a source for good.
In typical Bills Mafia fashion, fans from around the world have showed their support for Hamlin by donating to his Chasing M’s Foundation Community Toy Drive on GoFundMe. As of Friday afternoon, the fundraiser has received nearly $8 million in donations.
So what exactly is the campaign designed to achieve? Here are all the details about Hamlin’s charity campaign, as well as information on how you can donate:
How to donate to Damar Hamlin’s charity
You can make a donation on the foundation’s GoFundMe page here.
Damar Hamlin charity website
You can also donate through the official Chasing M’s website, found here.
Mario Hamlin, Damar’s father, encouraged prospective donors to do so via the foundation’s website.
“If you’re inclined to make a donation to the Chasing M’s Foundation, please visit Chasingmsfoundation.com,” he wrote in a statement.
What is Damar Hamlin’s charity?
Hamlin established the Chasing M’s Foundation to give back to children in his home community of Western Pennsylvania.
“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,” he wrote on the foundation’s GoFundMe page. “I created The Chasing M’s Foundation as a vehicle that will allow me to deliver that impact.”
The non-profit organization is currently led by Mario Hamlin, Damar’s father, who serves as the executive director.
“Damar started The Chasing M’s Foundation to be used as a vehicle to give back to the people who helped him get to where he is today and lift up the next generation of youth,” Mario said in a statement.
A recent update on the GoFundMe page says the foundation “supports toy drives, back-to-school drives, kids camps, and more.”
How Damar Hamlin started Chasing M’s Foundation
In May 2020, Hamlin, then a senior at the University of Pittsburgh, formally established the charity with the written goal of “providing scholarships and promoting education for High School and College athletes.”
However, the foundation’s first fundraiser was in support of children rather than high school and college athletes. It took place in Dec. 2020, and raised $2,500 in a toy drive for a daycare facility run by his mother, Nina.
“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,” the GoFundMe description reads. “100% of the funds raised will go toward the purchase of toys for kids in need.”
Since then, the foundation has organized an annual toy drive for children each year around the holidays.
In the days following Hamlin’s cardiac arrest incident on Monday night, it has seen an explosion of donations. The massive increase in available funds will hopefully allow the foundation to continue to expand its reach.
How much money has been raised?
Before Hamlin’s medical emergency on Monday, the foundation had raised a total of around $3,000. As of Jan. 6, that amount now exceeds $7,900,000.
A number of high-profile figures from the NFL have made large donations. Jim Irsay and the Colts donated $25,003, Robert Kraft and the Patriots donated $18,003, Matthew Stafford of the Rams donated $12,000 and the Browns and Texans both donated $10,003.
Fantasy football leagues have also started donating their prize money to the foundation en masse. The cancellation of Bills vs. Bengals complicated many fantasy playoff matchups. Rather than try and figure out a way to finish the league fairly, many players have opted to simply donate the winnings to Chasing M’s instead.
But all those additional funds could make things a bit complicated for the charity. What began as a toy drive for a daycare in a small Western Pennsylvania town is now a multi-million dollar non-profit organization, and there are legal regulations it will have to abide by.
“Our office’s concern focuses on ensuring that any donations collected are used for the purposes that were represented to the donors,” Pennsylvania Deputy Attorney General Mark Pacella told Sportico. “The donations received by GoFundMe obtained on behalf of Damar Hamlin are subject to the Pennsylvania Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act as it applies to all Internet fundraising campaigns when the charity and/or the fundraiser is located in Pennsylvania.”
Damar Hamlin’s other charity work
Hamlin is a beloved figure in his local community in large part because of how often he spends time giving back to it.
Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Hamlin often shows up to youth football practices in the area to work out with the players then sign autographs and pose for pictures.
Less than two weeks ago, the Bills safety posted on his Instagram account sharing a video from his latest toy drive.
He also posted a video on his YouTube account from his toy drive back in 2020, which you can watch here.
Originally found on Sporting News Read More