(NewsNation) — People are coming together to help the Uvalde community after a horrific shooting at Robb Elementary School left 19 children and two adults dead and 17 others injured.
In the wake of the tragedy, one of the blood drive coordinators in Uvalde, Sue Rankin, says the outpouring of support has been “absolutely incredible.”
She coordinated a blood donation event with the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center on Wednesday. So many people wanted to help that they have extended their drive through Thursday, along with another blood donation event Saturday at the Civic Center.
Rankin says she would ask people giving blood how they are feeling about the tragedy.
“Some people broke down and started crying and said, ‘My daughter’s best friend died’ or ‘I know people here at the center, that they’ve lost nieces and … grandsons,’ like that. So the emotion was that people were coming together and supporting each other during this time. We had people show up here as early as seven o’clock this morning, and they’re just now wrapping up. So it’s an emotional day. … Some people have been here literally all day long,” Rankin said.
She continued: “A dear friend who was on our board, she was in here this morning and said that four of the kids were in her kindergarten class when they were in kindergarten, and she lost them, she’ll never see them again. And there’s times you just, you know, I’ve been so busy with the blood drive. There’s times you got to come in here and just kind of sit down and think and stop avoiding it and then kind of lean into that … pain, you know, because otherwise it’s going to get you in the long run. So, anyway, but I’m doing OK. We’re tired, you know, but we’re OK.”
The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center sent 25 units of blood to Uvalde the day of the school shooting. They say they will continue their support. Learn more about scheduling a blood donation here.