AUSTIN, Texas – El Paso is hundreds of miles away, but in the wake of tragedy, Austinites are doing what they can to help.
- Blood Drive Monday
- Texas State Capitol
- Goes from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“It’s our own little renewable resource that we can spread and help others have. So why not donate?" said blood donor Gabby Grule-Small.
Both We Are Blood locations in Austin saw a massive increase in donors this weekend, as Austinites were moved to make a difference.
“That just goes to show how much Central Texans care about all Texans, no matter what area they live in. And that helps us to lend aid when it’s needed," said Nick Canedo, Vice President of Community Engagement at We Are Blood.
“Your body can replenish its own blood. But it's these bodies that are, you know, have just experienced some severe trauma that can't do it. They're working already so hard to just repair themselves that if me sitting here for, what, we've been here 10 minutes, maybe can like ease some of that for someone's own healing, that's fantastic," said Grule-Small.
One man said he decided to donate blood for the first time after his childhood friend told him his family left that El Paso mall, minutes before the shooting happened at a nearby El Paso Walmart.
“He was particularly freaked out about the whole thing, saying that everyone goes to that mall," said blood donor David Mathew. "So it's kind of freaky to see old childhood haunts that are no longer safe anymore.”
Matthew decided to take action by donating blood.
“I wanted to see if I could be of service in some way," said Mathew. "I don’t know what the solution is to stopping this. But I guess it’s good to know we’re, at least, not just sitting in existential horror or watching TV not doing something.”
Though the surge in donations is much appreciated, We Are Blood says regular donations are even more critical.
“The best way to be prepared for tragedy is to donate and to donate often," said Canedo. "It's the blood on the shelves that saves lives when people are injured in mass casualty shootings or due to natural disasters.”
We Are Blood is hosting a blood drive at the Texas State Capitol Monday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in honor of the victims of the El Paso mass shooting.
They'll be set up on Colorado between 12th and 13th Streets.
Walk-ins are welcome, but organizers recommend signing up online beforehand to ensure you can donate.
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