The 2020-2021 Bills season has had it all. Plenty of ups, thankfully far fewer downs.
Tremendous excitement and some heartbreak.
The positives have far outweighed the negatives, especially off the field, where Bills Mafia has thrived in the two arenas they dominate: cheering on their team and supporting their community.
Plenty of storylines have dominated this Bills season.
None perhaps more than the team’s focus and dedication on the field.
And the dedication of Bills Mafia off the field — from waiting patiently to finally witnessing a playoff win in person……to filling the coffers of local organizations. And more recently, even the charities of opponents.
“It’s all flowing out of who we are as a region. So it’s no surprise that these efforts that are aligned with celebrating the region … it’s no surprise that giving back is such a huge part of the identity because that’s who we are as a people.”
Del Reid, the co-founder of Bills Mafia and creator of 26 Shirts, which sells Bills-themed gear and gives a portion of the proceeds to local families in need.
It was a big year for them, tens of thousands has been donated, and the company surpassed 1 million dollars given back since its inception eight years ago.
Another million dollar mark was reached this year: Bills Mafia donated more than seven figures to Oishei Children’s Hospital, in the name of Josh Allen’s grandmother Patricia Allen, who passed away Nov. 7, the night before the team’s big win over the Seahawks.
Other fans have chipped in too, including Colts Nation and most recently, the Ravens Flock.
The appreciation is real.
Two other charities have taken off since the calendar flipped to 2021.
Buffalo Business Blitz, started by Bills cornerback Josh Norman, is approaching a half million dollars that will be used to provide dozens of local businesses with $2,500 to help ease the pain of pandemic shutdowns.
And after the Bills beat the Ravens to move on to the AFC title game, Bills Mafia stepped up again, donating to QB Lamar Jackson’s favorite charity, Louisville-baseed Blessings in a Backpack, which feeds hungry children.
Get this, just this season, close to 2 million dollars has been raised among the organizations we mentioned. And in every case, the numbers just continue to tick up.