Blood drive for Umpqua CC shows best of humanity

A mass shooting left at least 10 dead at Umqua Community College in Roseburg, October 1, 2015

ROSEBURG, Ore. (KOIN) — One day after a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College, the Red Cross office in Roseburg was packed with people willing to donate their blood to help stave off a potential shortage.

So many people showed up at the Red Cross Friday some waited in line for 3 hours to donate blood.

Chris Casey felt the need to help and was one of the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd who arrived to donate.

“These kids are really important to us. This is our future now. We’ve lost a whole bunch of them, just a horrible loss,” Casey said. “I’m just one old lady and I’d do almost anything if I knew what it was. … so this is the best.”

The outpouring made volunteer Irene Walen proud — and it helps her deal with her own broken heart.

“We need to start right here in Roseburg and show love, not just to say I love you or whatever. No, that’s not good enough, not good enough,” she told KOIN 6 News. “We need to show our love.”

Kiyzzer Allgood showed his love by crafting a candle with 9 pennies, one for each of the victims.

“I wanted to help the parents and all their friends to remember who they are,” the 7-year-old said.

His mother, Koreena Richardson, kept him home from school Friday.

“The guy who did this, his home sits right next to my son’s school,” Richardson said. “He could have chose that school, he could have walked right to that school and did the same thing there.”

It’s times like this, said Kim Buckner with the Red Cross, “we see the best of humanity. This is truly the gift of life.”

“You know what, honey?” Walen said. “From my viewpoint I hope this keeps going, going, going.”

She also had one wish.

“Perhaps we may be an example to the state of Oregon, we may be an example to the United States of what it’s like to go through a tragedy like we’re going through and come out as lovely people.”

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