Early Hours, Long Lines Don't Stop Las Vegas Residents From Queuing To Donate Blood

Donation centers are filling up across Las Vegas.

Las Vegas blood donation centers were overwhelmed with volunteers early Monday morning as lines poured out onto the street before the sun had even risen.

The unifying moment defined Las Vegas' response to the mass shooting more than 58 people were killed and another 500 were reported injured in what police are saying is the deadliest mass shooting in United States history. When news of the shooting — which took place in Las Vegas's iconic strip during a Jason Aldean concert — spread across town, volunteers began showing up to donate blood in hospitals and blood centers throughout the night.

One local reporter with KNTV 13, David Schuman, said a blood donation's parking lot was full at 3:48 a.m.

"Parking lot of blood donation center on Charleston is full. At 3:48 a.m.," Schuman tweeted. "#Vegas is strong and compassionate."

Almost 30 minutes later, at 4:15 a.m., Schuman got another text from a friend at a different blood center who said it was similarly packed.

Shanda Maloney, a 37-year-old who lives a half mile from the University Medical Center, said she watched the shooting unfold on social media and realized people were being transported to a hospital near her.

"I knew the originally stated injuries had to be wrong," Maloney told A Plus in an email. "Just by the sounds of those shots, the injuries had to be at least two to three times what they were originally stating. If they didn't need my blood today, they'd need it someday. I didn't want to sit on my couch and watch this unfold and not do anything."

Those volunteers stayed out all night in some places. When the sun came up, at around 7:15 a.m., KNTV anchor Yasmeen Hassan reported that people were still in line at the United Blood Services donation center.

Maloney said that, judging by her experience, a lot of the people who showed up were first-time donors. The downside of that is some people didn't know what the process was like, how to donate, or whether they were eligible. Maloney said it made her happy to know how many people stepped up but it also would have made the hospital staff's life easier if people had done a little research beforehand to help cut down the time of sorting out the line.

Five hours later, Las Vegas Review Journal reporter Justin Emerson posted that the long line of cars headed to the United Blood Services center had brought traffic to a standstill — and that good Samaritans were bringing supplies for those in line.

Which volunteers from the University of Nevada Las Vegas nursing program promptly helped to hand out, per Instagram user Emily Belanger. Belanger also posted that a man standing in line played ukelele to brighten the spirits of others in the queue.

If you're in the Las Vegas area and want to help, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said visiting the Labor Health and Welfare Clinic is the best way to do it. CNN's Jake Tapper reported that 104 patients were admitted to the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada near Maloney's home. 

As of Monday afternoon, Las Vegas hospitals were still calling for blood donations.

"It's been incredible to see the entire town come together and work together to help in any way possible," Maloney said. "People were walking the line with food, drinks, snacks, blankets etc. To see the community come together like this was everything we needed to do as a community and as human beings."


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