Every Pint Counts: Minnesotans rush to donate blood after Las Vegas shootings

- There’s a need for blood every day.

Memorial Blood Centers staff say it’s the blood on the shelf tonight that will help in an unexpected tragedy tomorrow.

That’s why several Minnesotans rushed to Memorial Blood Centers after they learned more than 50 people were killed and more than 500 others were injured in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. 

“I was just shocked and, honestly, speechless and in disbelief because it’s awful when a tragedy like this happens,” said Jordan Keeler, a donor at MBC’s St. Paul location

By the time Keeler got word of the Las Vegas shootings, she’d already previously agreed to have her arm poked and prodded on Monday.

“I remembered I was donating blood today, and I was like, ‘well I guess I can help out in that way,’ so it made me feel better,” she said.

Also honoring a standing appointment at the same site was Zachary Remillard. He, too, was moved along the same vein.

“I think it makes it real. A lot of times you hear it goes to some places and not others you’re definitely helping out, but today you see 500 people hurt and 50+ killed, and you know your blood could potentially be going to save some of those lives as well as other places in the country,” he said.

Anne Jordan, meanwhile, fights a big fear of getting pricked because for her, the sacrifice is personal.

“I just hate needles so much, but today was just one of those days that I just needed to get out. I have family that is out there, and I’ve stayed at that hotel before and [it's] just somewhere to gather for fun and turns into just […] it’s just horrible,” she said.

After learning so much blood was needlessly shed in a city they hold dear, the Twin Cities donors figured a pint of their own is the least they could do.

“I love Vegas,” said donor Pamela Kraus.

“It feels good,” Remillard said. “I don’t need all of it, so it’s nice to be able to give back in a small way.”

Donated blood goes through a number of rigorous tests, but it’s only a few days before it’s at a hospital available for a patient. To learn where you can donate blood in the Twin Cities click here.

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