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'It was just donation after donation': Buffalo Bills fans support rookie receiver's nonprofit in bulk

After Bills Mafia found out about receiver Keon Coleman's ties to Hope for Opelousas, the donations started to flood in.
Buffalo Bills' Keon Coleman
Posted at 11:41 AM, May 03, 2024

Buffalo Bills fans are back at it, donating to the charities of their favorite players. This time, the "Buffalove" is benefiting an organization very close to the heart of rookie wide receiver Keon Coleman.

Loren Carriere’s phone has been ringing off the hook. He’s the executive director of Hope for Opelousas, a nonprofit in Coleman’s hometown, Opelousas, Louisiana.

“At about 5:30 p.m. [Wednesday], I started getting emails," Carriere said. "It was just donation after donation."

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After a few messages about their organization on social media went viral, Bills Mafia took it from there and have donated in bulk. As of Thursday afternoon, the nonprofit had received more than 300 donations from western New Yorkers, worth more than $3,500.

To add an extra incentive, a donor in Louisiana is matching donations up to $50,000 as well.

“We’re a small organization, so as the donations were coming in, I was calling individual people that left phone numbers and had some amazing conversations with people,” Carriere said. “It’s just super cool to meet the down-to-earth people from Buffalo, because Opelousas is just like that.”

The organization meets 100 students after school every day to help them with schoolwork, mentor them, and just give them a fun and safe place to hang out. Coleman himself grew up in this program and has shared several messages about helping them out.

Hope for Opelousas
The nonprofit organization opened in 2008 and has served several kids like Keon Coleman over the years.

“What can you tell us about Keon Coleman, the person?” Scripps News Buffalo reporter Derek Heid asked.

“What you experienced [Saturday at Coleman's first team press conference] is just a normal day for Keon,” Carriere said. “He is just going to continue to be him, show you who he is, and have fun in the process.”

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Carriere said that all the profits will go to expanding the program to help even more kids growing up just like Coleman.

“We appreciate you, we thank you and look forward to building with you," he added.

This story was originally published by Derek Heid at Scripps News Buffalo.