New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft made a big heartfelt show of support for Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin by donating $18,003 to his Toy Drive fundraiser.
The Buffalo Bills star, 24, remains sedated in the ICU after he collapsed on the field and was resuscitated following a hit on the Cincinnati Bengals’ Tee Higgins on Monday.
A toy drive fundraiser started by the NFL star in 2020 to raise money for families during the Covid-19 pandemic has soared to $6.5million as donations continue to pour in after the survivor suffered a cardiac arrest.
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft donates $18,003 to Damar Hamlin’s fundraiser
The fundraiser got a big, thoughtful boost from New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft on Thursday.
The Patriots’ Twitter account announced that the New England chief continued his support for the Bills’ safety with a massive donation of $18,003.
The franchise explained the heartfelt meaning behind the figure, saying that in Jewish culture, 18 symbolizes ‘chai’ or ‘life’, while three represents Hamlin’s Bills jersey number.
The Patriots’ Twitter account announced that Kraft made the donation and its significance
Tampa Bay Buccaneers and former Patriots quarterback and seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady also made a large donation of $10,000 after he shared a public message of support for Hamlin.
New England safety Devin McCourty also contributed to the cause. The 35-year-old donated $2,000, while two of his teammates, cornerbacks Myles Bryant and Marcus Jones, contributed $1,000 each to the fundraiser.
Patriots backup quarterback Brian Hoyer also donated a similar amount, as did New York Jets defensive tackle Solomon Thomas, San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle, Denver Broncos center Lloyd Cushenberry and ex-Bengals and LA Rams tackle Andrew Whitworth.
Other NFL franchises have also made contributions with the Washington Commanders and the Seattle Seahawks respectively donating $5,000 and $1,000 each.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady contributed $10,000 to the cause
American-Canadian wrestler Chris Jericho also contributed a $5,000 donation to the GoFundMe page.
Its initial target was to raise just $2,500 for families during the pandemic and the Toy Drive eventually increased to $2,921 – but it climbed to $2.5m on Monday night after Hamlin’s incident.
Toy Drive hit $3m on Tuesday morning and continued to hike, just past $6.5m on Wednesday afternoon, and still climbing.
In a statement Tuesday, Hamlin’s family thanked those who donated and thought of the Bills players.
‘Your generosity and compassion are important to us. Please keep Damar in your prayers,’ the statement read partially.
Hamlin poses for a photo with Bryce Williams, 3, after the boy picks out a toy in 2020
On Tuesday, a close friend of Jordon Rooney revealed that the soaring total raised for Hamlin’s Toy Drive will be huge for the star.
“His family said today we can’t drive the toy now,” Rooney said on the Pat McAfee Show. ‘He started that toy drive in college when he didn’t have the money to make a toy himself.
‘So, someone dug that up from 2020 I need to know how to get the password now because there’s $3.5m sitting there but finally got in there.
‘I’m excited for Damar when he sees that because those things are so important to him.’
Close friend and family representative Jordon Rooney said the amount to be raised means a lot to Hamlin
However, some people seem to be trying to cash in on Hamlin’s tragic injury as several fraudulent GoFundMe pages have been created since his own went viral, according to TMZ.
Several campaigns are said to have been live since Hamlin went down after making a tackle with Bengals receiver Tee Higgins.
Some fundraising pages are reportedly exact replicas of Hamlin’s Toy Drive campaign.
GoFundMe is said to be closely monitoring the situation and any campaigns not authorized by the family are being taken down from the platform in real time.
Some people seem to be trying to cash in on Hamlin’s tragic injury with fake pages