NFL safety Damar Hamlin is paying it forward by donating the $10 million raised for him after dramatic on-field collapse on “Monday Night Football” to fuel his charity organization, Chasing M’s Foundation.
On Jan. 2, Hamlin, who plays for the Buffalo Bills, suffered a cardiac arrest during a road game at Cincinnati after trying to tackle Cincinnati Bengals receiver Tee Higgins, whose shoulder hit Hamlin squarely in the chest on the play, stopping the defensive back’s heart. Medical professionals on the scene were able to restore Hamlin’s heartbeat and he was rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where they restored him to health. Immediately, two online campaigns — GoFundMe and The Giving Back Hand — were created to support Hamlin’s recovery. To date, those two campaigns have raised almost $10 million.
“I know that it isn’t enough just to be thankful,” Hamlin said in a press statement on Jan. 28. “This is just the beginning of the impact that I wanted to have on the world and with God’s guidance I will continue to do wonderful and great things.”
Hamlin is using the funds to support his organization, Chasing M’s Foundation, a nonprofit focused on various youth and community development initiatives. Hamlin established the organization when he was a student at the University of Pittsburgh. And recently Hamlin updated the organization’s articles of incorporation and mission so that it will support “the aspirations of youth and community members through sports, education” and other activities and “promote health and safety in sports through CPR & AED training.”
NFL Honors Hamlin While He Supports Community Endeavors
In addition to the hefty donation, Hamlin has been busy showing his gratitude. Just days before the Super Bowl, Hamlin accepted the NFLPA’s Alan Page Community Award, which also included a $100,000 donation to his organization.
Hamlin’s NFL Career
Hamlin, a native of Pennsylvania, was signed by the Bills after being selected in the sixth round of the 2021 draft. His deal was worth $3.6 million to be paid over four seasons with a $160,476 signing bonus. Hamlin’s annual salary is $910,119. Hamlin has been deemed to have made a complete recovery since January, and last month he was cleared to take part in NFL activities. As a result, Hamlin resumed offseason organized team activities at the team’s practice facility.