DAYTON – Blood donors turned shock and grief into resolve and compassion during the days after the horror of the Oregon District mass shooting.
On the Monday after the shooting 169 people came to the Dayton Community Blood Center to donate, including Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted, Rep. Tim Ryan, and Sen. Rob Portman. CBC hosted the “Dayton Strong Blood Drive” at the Dayton CBC Friday, and the result was 146 whole blood, platelet and plasma donors.
From Monday through Saturday, 1,708 people registered to donate whole blood, platelets and plasma at the Dayton CBC and CBC mobile blood drives, including 171 first-time donors.
“I live in the Oregon District,” said first-time donor Jessica Busker, who donated at the “Dayton Strong Blood Drive” Friday with her friend Elijah Knapp, also a first-time donor. “I’ve been thinking about it,” said Jessica. “When the shooting happened, I wanted to make sure I did.”
Amber Kerns came to donate with about a dozen co-workers from Health Carousel in Austin Landing. “Our office is donating together and then we’re going to lunch together,” she said. “We’ve been talking about it all week.”
Donors posed for pictures with a “Dayton Strong” picture frame. Phlebotomist Jeannie Green hand made a “Dayton Strong” t-shirt for the blood drive with the names of all the shooting victims on the front and the names of the Dayton Police officers who responded to the shooting on the back.
“My heart was just broken,” platelet donor Gary Watson said of the Oregon District tragedy. He came to the Dayton Strong Blood Drive to make his 88nd lifetime donation. “I saw it in the newspaper – I knew something would be going on.”
Fairborn’s Kaitlin Becraft donated for the first time Friday. She learned about it from CBC’s Twitter account and was determined to donate.
“I’ve had a phobia for needles for years,” she said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but always was afraid to do it. After what happened last weekend, I decided it was a good time to face my fear.”
Learn more at www.GivingBlood.org.