LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - After the devastating mass shooting in El Paso on Saturday, followed by another mass shooting in Ohio early Sunday, a blood center in Lubbock has been busy with many people showing up to donate their blood.
Vitalant, formerly United Blood Services, opened its doors and 70 people lined up to show their support for the victims and their families. While those who work at Vitalant say they are thrilled that so many people are willing to come forward and donate blood after a catastrophe, they add that they need this kind of response to continue all year.
“It really is heartwarming to know that we are all in this together here in Texas. Even though El Paso is a ways away, I think Texans kind of bond together and we know that we're here to help each other,” said Brandon Baker with Vitalant.
Whether its your regular blood donor or someone donating for the first time, Baker says he has seen them all walk through these doors. “It’s great to see people that might not normally donate blood coming out of the woodwork to help those that are in need.”
Baker says a major part of the donations to El Paso came from recent blood drives, such as the Back the Badges Campaign a few weeks ago.
Although that has been sent out, Vitalant is in need of rebuilding what they have on hand now. “Its important that when something like this happens that the blood is on the shelves because that helps those in these catastrophic situations.”
Vitalant says they don't just need donors now, they need donors year round.
“There is a shelf life on blood and that's why it's important that you continually replenish that supply,” said Baker.
Vitalant is located on 48th and University.They welcome walk-in appointments for blood donations, but they prefer you to set up an appointment. Click here for more information.