Monday afternoon UPDATE:
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Appointments and walk-ins are full for the We Are Blood drive to honor the victims and communities in El Paso and Dayton, the center announced Monday afternoon.
The blood center says anyone interested in donating should go online and book an appointment for later in the week.
Monday morning UPDATE:
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austinites are lining up on the Colorado Street sidewalk at the Texas Capitol to donate blood at the We Are Blood drive, Monday morning.
A second mobile blood bus arrived on scene due to the amount of people showing up to donate. Officials say over 100 have donated blood so far. They plan to be stationed along Colorado Street between 12th and 13th streets until 3 p.m.
One of those who lined up early was Jessica Escobar. She lives in Austin but is from El Paso. All of her family lives there. She’s thankful they’re all OK.
“Everybody is good. We checked on everybody. My aunt was actually on lockdown at one point… right after it happened, so that was pretty scary,” Escobar said.
She was scared but not deterred to help.
“I’m here, I’m eight hours away from El Paso. I can’t be with my family. I can’t be friends there. But this is something I can do from here,” Escobar said. “At the end of the day, we are a community and we gotta heal together and we gotta support each other. And it’s important whether you are Hispanic, whether you aren’t Hispanic. We all could be victims.”
Before heading into the mobile blood bus, Escobar shared a message to those in El Paso:
You are loved and the line behind me shows you are loved, you are supported and together we will heal.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — The We Are Blood donation location on North Lamar was open well after its 3 p.m. closing time on Sunday. Some families waited for more than an hour to donate blood.
“We Are Blood stands with the El Paso & Dayton communities and victims following this weekend’s tragic shootings,” the organization said on its Facebook and Instagram pages. “Due to the generosity of our dedicated blood donors in Central Texas, we stand ready to help neighbors across Texas – and the country – if needed.”
The organization says staff is ready to send blood and just waiting on the call from El Paso and Dayton. We Are Blood says because of regular donations Central Texas has a strong blood supply.
“Donating blood is one of the most personal ways to give and it also goes to anybody who needs it,” said Vice President of We Are Blood Nick Canedo. “It really shows the way that the community comes together and how together we all feel.”
Blood donor Kelly Roloff says she heard the call to give from El Paso on Saturday and just had to do her part.
“It’s the only thing I feel like I can do,” said Roloff, while giving blood. “Pray and donate some blood and those are the things that I can do – the little tiny bit to try and help.”
The last time the organization sent blood to another city was Houston after Hurricane Harvey.
We Are Blood is partnering with AT&T and Walmart for a blood drive near the Texas State Capitol on Monday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. It will be at Colorado Street between 12th and 13th streets.
If you can’t make it to give blood Monday, you can schedule an appointment to donate.