UVALDE – During a tragedy, it’s in the nature of Texans to want to step up and help in any way we can. The Uvalde community and several others are just doing that by conducting a blood driver in response to the school shooting at Robb Elementary.
“It’s overwhelming. It’s devastating. It’s sad,” said Sue Rankin, Director of the Herby Ham Activity Center in Uvalde, as she watches people line up to donate blood. “It’s amazing to see the community stand out, doing what they’re doing.”
The South Texas Blood and Tissue mobilized the blood drive to help those injured in the shooting.
Rankin said the shooting has forever changed Uvalde.
“Because this is the worst thing that’s ever happened in Uvalde, ever,” she said. “It’s like everybody is saying, ‘Not in my city. Not in Uvalde. And unfortunately, it hit us.”
Nearly 300 people showed up at the center Wednesday morning trying to give blood but many were turned away. Not stopping them, several people decided to wait in the walk-in line just in case someone missed their donation appointment.
“They’re fellow Texans. I love Texas. We all help each other out,” said Bailey Kindred, a football player at Hondo High School, Uvalde High’s rival school. “I played football against these guys for years and we all kind of made each other better, the least we can do is come out here and give something back.”
South Texas Blood and Tissue officials say 600 people donated blood Wednesday across several donation sites. The group made appointments for more through the weekend.
Ian Wagner was one of many turned away at the blood drive, but instead of going home, the retired army combat medic stayed to volunteer.
“Instead of drawing blood, what else can we do?” Wagner asked officials at the blood drive. “They said you can direct traffic. It’s really overwhelming the number of folks that have showed up and people coming from all over the state. I’ve had people from Waco, Del Rio, San Antonio,” he said.