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More than $1 million raised for Buffalo’s East Side with ‘Choose Love’ shirts

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Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The Buffalo community was traumatized on May 14 when a self-described white supremacist murdered 10 people and shot three more in a local supermarket. Since then, the community has rallied around the neighborhood and the survivors, raising money and serving food to help right now along while raising money and awareness to help long-term. It’s a big goal, but toward that end, the local sports teams have all chipped in.

In addition to Buffalo Bills players, legends, wives and girlfriends, and front-office execs (including owners Kim & Terry Pegula) heading to the memorial to lay flowers and serve food to the neighborhood impacted by the loss of their only supermarket, members of the other Pegula-owned teams have also lent a hand. The NHL’s Buffalo Sabres and NLL’s Buffalo Bandits (as well as players on multiple teams from the University at Buffalo) have also pitched in locally. Additionally, Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich and owner/CEO Jim Irsay announced donations on behalf of their families.

While members of the Bills, Sabres, and Bandits have worked in the impacted community, they’ve all worn black “Choose Love” shirts with their team logo. Immediately, fans began asking where they could purchase the shirts to support the effort. AdPro Sports and the Pegulas teamed up to offer the shirts on their websites, and as of June 1, the effort has raised more than $1 million to support the Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund and the Buffalo Together Community Response Fund.

The Bills also promoted a Community Response Page, with verified charities and ways to help.

The response was overwhelming, so the organization is sending out shirts as they are printed instead of one single date. (The ones I ordered on May 21 are supposed to be at my doorstep when I get home on Wednesday, June 1, to give you some sense of the time frame.)

Youth sizes and international shipping were added on May 25. Adults in the United States can order through this link.

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