Blood donors line up in Tucson following El Paso shooting

Blood donors line up in Tucson following El Paso shooting
(Source: KOLD)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - After tragedy strikes as it did Saturday, Aug. 3, in El Paso, Texas, people often wonder what can they possibly do to help. That feeling was felt states away here in southern Arizona.

Nancy Melcher is just one of the Tucsonans who decided she couldn’t stand by and do nothing.

“I heard about that they needed blood, so that’s why I looked online to see if there was any place available to come and donate,” Melcher said.

"It had been a while since I had donated, so definitely felt the calling to come do this,” she said.

That calling stretched to others as the Red Cross on Broadway said they saw a handful come through their doors Saturday.

"Oh my God, at a point earlier, I think around 3:30 p.m., that’s when we had the rush it was about 8-9 people who did have to wait a while,” team lead Amanda Oroz said.

The long wait times were due to the Red Cross taking previous scheduled appointments first. But even with the long wait times Oroz says it didn’t matter.

“They were just worried and some of them hadn’t donated in 10 or 20 years and they didn’t know what the process was. So it did take us a little bit longer to take them but they didn’t mind they just wanted to make sure there was blood,” she said.

Another reason to donate? The Red Cross here in southern Arizona says the summer months are already a little slower and donations tend to drop off. Meaning your help is always needed.

“The need is constant its not just one week or one month. That’s exactly why we need the blood so that when it’s needed it’s just sent,” Oroz said.

There's a good chance the blood will make it to El Paso, but never a full guarantee. Oroz said the blood donated Saturday will be sent to a lab in California to be tested and then distributed in a few days after.

Regardless, it’s a reminder to give at any time.

“Invite other people, too, even their families to come and help because it’s always needed,” Oroz said.

If you do not want to donate blood you can make a financial donation to El Paso, donations are being accepted by the El Paso Community Foundation for the victims of the shooting.

According to the El Paso Times, EPCF will waive administrative and credit card fees for all donations. To donate: https://epcf.org/victims

Copyright 2019 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.