BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas and his wife, Patti Thomas, have pledged to donate $10,000 to families affected in the Tops supermarket mass shooting that killed 10 people on Saturday.
"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?"
Thurman and Patti Thomas have been so moved to help, they told the Associated Press on Monday they are planning a gathering with other Bills legends, including Jim Kelly, Andre Reed and Bruce Smith, to help support the victims' families.
"It hurts on so many different levels. At times it's hard to breathe," Patti Thomas said about the tragedy.
"You think about how these families have to deal with this... in the City of Good Neighbors. Buffalo is a beautiful community and there are so many giving and loving people. We keep hearing that the love has to outweigh the hate, but that takes work."
Thurman Thomas said it was great to see the Bills come out and decide to still go on with Bills' safety Micah Hyde's charity softball event on Sunday, the day after the shooting, with plenty of proceeds going to the families affected by the shooting.
"I think it plays a big role, especially in a community like this," Thurman Thomas said about the Bills supporting the community in dark hour.
The Basil Family Dealership has donated $35,000 to the Thurman Thomas Family Foundation to help families affected by the mass shooting.
So far, $125,000 has been raised for the foundation.
If you would like to make a donation to help, you may do so here: https://give.thurmanthomas.com