Elizabeth S. Hansen and Jaquelina Balbuena

Monday, June 13, 2016

First-time blood donors hope to help Orlando shooting victims

CHANDLER — Some Arizonans are donating blood for the first time to help victims of the shooting in Orlando, Florida.

At least 50 people died, including the shooter, and 53 were injured during the shooting at Pulse nightclub. The incident resonated with Rebecca Sanderson, who came to the Chandler United Blood Services center to donate blood for the first time.

Rebecca Sanderson chose to donate blood for the first time in the wake of the shooting in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Jaquelina Balbuena/Cronkite News)

Rebecca Sanderson waits to donate blood at the Chandler United Blood Services center. (Photo by Jaquelina Balbuena/Cronkite News)

“I’ve thought about doing it for many years,” she said. “I came in to donate blood because of the Orlando tragedy.”

She added that she was meeting a friend, who is also a first-time donor, at the donation center.

“I think [donating blood] is very important,” Sanderson said, “because you never know when you might need it, too.”

The center is part of a network of blood donation centers in Arizona sending blood to help replenish Orlando supplies, Sue Thew of the United Blood Services said.

To find out more about donating blood in your area, visit the Red Cross donation site .

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