Steelers Players Deliver Toys for Damar Hamlin, Chasing M’s Foundation
The entire NFL community and country has railed around Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who suffered cardiac arrest after a hit in the Bills-Bengals game on Monday night, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are no different in Hamlin’s hometown.
Hamlin is making continued progress in his recovery yet remains in critical condition. He continues to breathe on his own and his neurological function is excellent, the Bills announced on Saturday afternoon. Hamlin’s breathing tube was removed overnight and he spoke to his teammates via Zoom, the Bills said Friday morning.
The progress in Hamlin’s recovery has been uplifting and felt across the country. It has truly shown the best in humanity.
Since Monday, Hamlin’s GoFundMe page for his Chasing M’s Foundation, has generated more than $8 million in donations in efforts to help his hometown of McKees Rocks, which is just outside of Pittsburgh. Hamlin started the Chasing M’s Foundation GoFundMe in 2020 because he wanted to raise money for toys for the kids in McKees Rocks, which is one of the most underserved communities in the Pittsburgh area. It’s also the same center where his mom, Nina Hamlin, is the director. It’s a matter that’s close to Hamlin heart.
The Steelers are also lending a hand in support of Hamlin’s foundation. On Friday, Steelers players stopped by his mom’s daycare to deliver toys, books and supplies to help Hamlin’s mission of serving his hometown.
“It’s just a way that we can give back,” said cornerback Levi Wallace, who played with Hamlin in Buffalo in 2021. “Just to be able to give back to kids that he works with and his community he loves so much. We’re doing it just to honor him and show our love for him that we’re supporting him here in Pittsburgh.
“Just hearing the great news that he’s doing better, I think comes just from a grateful place. I’ve seen how hard he works on and off the field and so anything that I could do here in Pittsburgh, I’m here to do.”
The sight of Hamlin collapsing on Monday night was one of the scariest moments in the history of the National Football League. It was a scene that really put things in perspective.
“This is beyond football. It’s bigger than just the game,” Cornerback Cam Sutton said. “This is truly a brotherhood, regardless, if you know the individual personally or just came in contact with him across the league. D. Ham is affiliated with this community having played here. His foundation, not just his work, but his foundation individually, everything that he has done here, and cities elsewhere as well. Just doing something special as an organization in the sense of giving back, coming together, and just offering a positive uplift. That’s all we can do right now. Just keep doing the right things to push him in the right spirit.”
Hamlin could have played anywhere in the country, but he chose Pitt in part to be a role model for his brother, who was 2 years old at the time. That speaks volumes to how important McKees Rocks and Pittsburgh are to Hamlin. He’s never forgotten about his roots.
“Doing this means a lot to me. Damar and I developed a friendship over the past couple of years through football,” Safety Tre Norwoord said. “Being here in Pittsburgh, you see how much the city loves him, how much he gives back to the city. With all his family is going through right now, we just want to help out a little bit. I am smiling because of the good news that he is getting better and still sending prayers to him and his family each and every day.”
The Steelers are also planning on-field and in-stadium support for Hamlin during Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns, including painting the 3’s on the 30-yard line blue. Hamlin has worn No. 3 with Pitt and the Bills.