As of Wednesday morning, Damar Hamlin’s charitable toy drive had raised just over $6 million after beginning the week with $2,900.
One of the top donors: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who at the time of this writing was responsible for the second-highest donation.
Since Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest during his team’s road game against the Cincinnati Bengals, hoards of athletes, fans and others in the sports world have come together to support the Buffalo Bills safety by contributing to his toy drive. Hamlin set up the charity in 2020 — with a desired goal of $2,500 — to support youth impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in his hometown of McKees Rocks, Pa.
On Tuesday, Mike Reiss of ESPN noticed that Patriots players Myles Bryant, Lawrence Guy and Brian Hoyer all donated to the charity. On Wednesday, Reiss pointed out that Kraft contributed $18,003 — a number that apparently carries a hidden message.
“Within the Jewish faith, 18 is ‘chai’ and signifies life,” Reiss tweeted. “The ‘3’ is Damar Hamlin’s number.”
A quick scroll through Hamlin’s GoFundMe page reveals that New England safety Devin McCourty also donated $2,000, the most among all Patriots players.
The latest update on Hamlin was provided by his uncle, who Tuesday night said the 24-year-old’s breathing had improved but that he remained in critical condition at a Cincinnati hospital. You can follow NESN.com for additional updates on Hamlin’s condition as they become available.
As for the NFL schedule, the league on Tuesday announced that Monday’s Bills-Bengals game will not be resumed this week and a decision hadn’t been made on when/if it will resume before the start of the playoffs. Additionally, the league said that this weekend’s slate remained unchanged, including Sunday’s matchup between Buffalo and New England at Highmark Stadium.