DENVER (CBS4)– Dozens of walk-in donors showed up at Bonfils Blood Center Monday after learning about the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas– ready to give blood.
“I saw the plea for blood donors in Vegas and wanted to do something to help,” said Deanna Barela.
Bonfils Blood Center has seen around 400 people come into donate on any given Monday, but by the afternoon, several hours after the shooting, Bonfils was already approaching 500 donors.
Blood from Colorado has not been sent to Las Vegas– yet. Bonfils is part of a network of blood centers in 28 states. Additional donations from a center in Nevada were sent from the group to help victims in Las Vegas.
“We are already seeing a tremendous outpouring of support both here in Colorado and across the country,” said Liz Lambert, a Bonfils spokesperson. “People who just want to honor those affected by this tragedy.”
Blood donations take 48 hours to process, so it’s important to have a steady flow of volunteers at all times. Bonfils says donors should make an appointment to come in and donate so they have enough blooding coming into the center not just hours after the shooting but days and weeks later.
“Every two seconds in the U.S. somebody needs a blood transfusion and that’s just on a regular day,” Lambert added.
Donors that came in after learning about the shooting understood their blood may not leave the state but they’re still motivated to help out those in need.
“There is no guarantee this is going to help someone in Las Vegas but people are people everywhere so if it will help somebody here, that’s cool,” said Dave Lucitt, another donor. “That’s great.”
Staff at Bonfils say by having a consistent set of donations, the blood they collect here can go wherever it needs to across town or around the nation. That kind of blood supply will be vital the next time a hospital or trauma center has several victims all at once.
“It is pretty scary, one of my cousins is a police officer in Las Vegas,” Barela said. “He’s okay thankfully, but he’s out there risking his life for us so it’s this is the least I can do.”
The following information was released by Bonfils on Monday. More information is available at Bonfils.org.
Bonfils urges both existing and first-time donors to make and keep appointments over the next several days and in the coming weeks. Visit bonfils.org or call 303-363-2300 to schedule an appointment at one of our 8 donor centers or at a mobile blood drive. Walk-ins are welcome at any of our locations. … Individuals who are as young as 16 years of age (with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in general good health may be eligible to donate blood.