DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Donors gave blood during the Donor Strong blood drive Friday at the Community Blood Center to honor those impacted by the Oregon District shooting one year ago, as well as to support the community’s blood supply amid the pandemic.
Public Relations Associate at the Blood Center, Mark Pompilio, said the donation initiative, known as Donor Strong, started a year ago, when nearly 1,700 donors helped replenish the blood supply used that weekend. He said this year’s drive was meant to give people another opportunity to remember the victims, and to save lives in the future.
“We remember from that time how donors responded with a #DonorStrong blood drive at that time. They wanted badly to do something in reaction to the shooting and in many ways, there was very little they could do. They felt helpless. But with the notion of giving blood, they were able to help us restock our shelves after the blood that was used that weekend.”
Nursing student and Dayton native, Emma Lindsay, said she remembers the shock she felt when she first heard about the shooting, and immediately began seeking ways to offer her assistance. She said even though she couldn’t help the victims directly, she’s given a gallon of her blood in remembrance of the tragedy.
“Everybody needs help sometimes, and even if I can’t help them, maybe like giving them a Band-Aid for a scraped knee, you know, help them out of a tough situation, I can give my blood, and that’ll help someone when they need it.”
Pompilio said that’s the type of participation the blood center needs, especially ahead of weekends, when violent crimes and other instances of trauma seem to spike across the city. When blood supplies run low, he added, treatment for those patients may be prolonged, but community members can prevent that from happening, like they were able to a year ago.
“This summer we’ve had to take extreme measures, like maybe importing blood from outside our region because we had shortages, or we’ve had to shuffle blood around from the hospitals even affecting surgeries. But imagine what a problem that would’ve been on the night of the shooting if blood was not there. So that’s our mission day to day and donors are helping us with it. They’re being Donor Strong. And today is a good example to remember the sense of mission that they had a year ago and keep that mission alive this year, every year.