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Bills, NFL Foundation will donate $400,000 locally after mass shooting

The Bills Foundation and the NFL Foundation are combining to donate $400,000 to local response efforts after the mass shooting at the Jefferson Avenue Tops Market.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills Foundation and NFL Foundation are donating a combined $400,000 following Saturday's mass shooting at the Tops store on Jefferson Avenue, where 10 people were killed and three more wounded.

The announcement, made on Wednesday, says $200,000 will be donated to the Buffalo Together Community Response Fund, which addresses issues that impact people of color.

Another $200,000 from the Bills Foundation will go to "nonprofits working on emergency response efforts to address needs of Buffalo's East Side community," according to a statement.

"We are most grateful for the generous contributions from the Buffalo Bills Foundation and the National Football League Foundation that will allow us to create real change and emerge from the darkness of this heinous act," Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, president and CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, said in a statement.

"This fund is a partnership to build upon the collective desire to take action, and to work together as a community to address immediate needs, long-term rebuilding, and systemic issues that continue to marginalize communities of color."

The donations come after several Bills, past and present, have found ways to help Western New York following the mass shooting.

Bills safety Micah Hyde hosted a charity softball game Sunday at Sahlen Field, less than 24 hours after the shooting. A moment of silence had been held before the game. A portion of the event's proceeds, including 100 percent of the money raised from silent auctions, would go to the victims' families.

"Yesterday, I'm going to be honest, we didn't even feel right having this game, but then having conversations with people, we felt it was important to get the community out, and we are doing it for a good cause," Hyde told 2 On Your Side at the event.

Then there is Bills Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas and his wife, Patti Thomas, who have pledged to donate $10,000 to families impacted by the shooting. 

"It's been tough to realize that it happened this close," Thurman Thomas said. "You see it happening across the country, but in a community that has taken you in as one of their own. It's really been hard to try to grasp what happened down on the East Side of Buffalo at the Tops Market.

"I can't go through a couple hours without thinking about  how can we be better as a city, as a country?"

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