After Las Vegas Attack, Hundreds Answer Call To Donate Blood

Oct 2, 2017
Originally published on October 2, 2017 10:58 pm
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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Blood banks across Las Vegas were busy today.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: We apologize for missing your call today...

MCEVERS: NPR called more than a half-dozen blood banks earlier today. No one picked up.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

But we did reach someone who works next door to one.

MATTHEW WINTHER: My name is Matthew Winther, and I work at the Wireless Doctor, the cell phone and computer repair store.

SIEGEL: We asked Matthew Winther to go outside where people were lining up to donate blood at United Blood Services.

WINTHER: There's a huge line - I'd say at least 200 people. I actually can't see the end of the line. It goes all the way around the shopping center. There's people passing out waters, Gatorade, donuts and chips. People are driving up with trucks full of, like, snacks and stuff.

MCEVERS: We asked him to hand over his phone to some of the people waiting in line.

WINTHER: Is anyone interested in talking to NPR or...

MCEVERS: He gave his phone to Las Vegas resident Katie Cornett. She'd been waiting almost three hours to donate blood.

KATIE CORNETT: You know, it's just a way to help, like, even if it's small. But, I mean, everybody's making these small contributions, then it's going to make a big difference in the long run.

SIEGEL: Another person waiting in line was Chris Finnerty of Las Vegas. He woke up to a slew of texts asking if he was OK, so he checked the news to find out what was happening.

CHRIS FINNERTY: It made me angry. But it's nice to see people coming together, you know, as a community, as human beings to come out here and show their support and do whatever they can to help the wounded.

MCEVERS: Finnerty arrived at the blood bank first thing in the morning.

FINNERTY: I got here at 7 o'clock. There's probably about 30 people in front of me from the door. Everybody's being really nice to each other. And people are driving in, they're bringing water and food and handing out coffee and hot chocolate. It's just - it's awesome. It's very touching.

MCEVERS: To heal, he says, Las Vegas needs to do exactly this - come together as a community and support each other.

(SOUNDBITE OF JUKEBOX THE GHOST SONG, "SHOW ME WHERE IT HURTS") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.