HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) — Classrooms inside Union Pleasant Elementary School were a sea of red and blue construction paper Thursday, as students filled out ‘get well soon’ cards for Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin.
The idea stemmed from fifth grader Abby Coltoniak. She said she woke up Tuesday asking her mom if the Bills won, instead her parents told her something scary had happened during the game. When Abby heard Hamlin was injured, she was inspired to do something to make him feel better.
“I wanted to do something to kind of make a change in his life,” she said.
Abby enlisted the help of her friends, Cullen Drake and Keira Hackmer, and decided to make cards for Hamlin.
“It feels very positive because football players, they put their body on the line just to have entertainment for us, and I feel like when they get hurt it’s almost our job to do something for them,” Cullen said.
“It makes me feel happy inside, and it makes me feel like our UPS students, we can make the world a better place to show people we are kind,” Keira said.
This idea quickly spread to the rest of the school. Students took time out of their day to write well wishes, draw pictures and create crafts for Hamlin.
Principal Molly Dehlinger said it fills her with pride to see the students come together for something like this.
“We celebrate our kids all the time, and for them to come forward and share with us that they wanted to do something kind back for the Bills, it just makes you know what you’re trying to instill in our kids at school is really working,” Dehlinger said.
Two other schools in the district also made cards for Damar Hamlin, including Armor Elementary. Teachers there also used this as an opportunity to teach a lesson on mental health, and students sent cards to the entire Bills team to let them know they’re in everyone’s thoughts.