'My Heart Was Just Broken': Community Comes Out For 'Dayton Strong' Blood Drive

Aug 12, 2019

Community Blood Center in Dayton says donors turned out in force following last week's deadly mass shooting in the Oregon district. Nearly 150 people donated whole blood, platelets and plasma during the Dayton Strong Blood Drive Friday.

From Monday through Saturday, more than 1,700 people registered to donate, the center reports. That includes 171 first-time donors. Kaitlin Becraft was one of them. 

"It's something I've always wanted to do, but always was afraid to do it," she says, citing a fear of needles. "After what happened last weekend, I decided it was a good time to face my fear." 

Meanwhile Gary Watson made his 88nd lifetime donation Friday. "My heart was just broken," he said. 

One donor came with about a dozen co-workers. Amber Kerns told the CBC her office decided to donate together and had been talking about it all week. 

Donors posed for pictures with a frame labeled "Dayton Strong." Phlebotomist Jeannie Green handmade 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.