Fort Worth

Orlando shooting on the mind of those giving blood in Fort Worth

Carter Blood Care mobile unit parked in the 200 block of West Fourth Street on Monday.
Carter Blood Care mobile unit parked in the 200 block of West Fourth Street on Monday. Mitch Mitchell, Fort Worth Star-Telegram staff writer

Mary Holt said she decided to donate blood as soon as she saw the notice at work about a special blood drive in downtown.

Holt, 54, who characterized herself as a perennial donor, said she planned her whole Monday around it.

Then she saw the news about the mass shooting in Orlando on Sunday and she was even more resolved to donate.

“Orlando was heavy on my mind,” said Holt, who chose to donate at the Carter BloodCare mobile unit parked in the 200 block of West Fourth Street near Sundance Square. “All these young people who thought they were just out for a night of fun.”

Rotary Club of Fort Worth, Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. and Carter BloodCare joined forces Monday to support World Blood Donor Days 2016, which is Tuesday. The blood drive was at five downtown sites, including Sundance Square, Tarrant County College’s Trinity River East Campus and Burnett Park.

Abraham Avalos, who donated blood at the mobile unit parked in the 700 block of Main Street, said he just wanted to help people.

“I imagine when something like Orlando happens the blood banks run out of supplies,” Avalos said.

Carter BloodCare said it had not been called to provide blood to Orlando “but we’re ready,” said Loretta Morgan, a special events/public relations specialist for the non-profit.

Morgan said it’s at times like these that a generous “blood supply comes in handy.”

Gisela Balsley, who works downtown, said she likes to give blood as a service to others.

Morris Layton, who works for an engineering firm downtown, said he never misses a chance to donate.

“I want to give back to my community,” Layton said.

Becky Fetty, director of marketing and membership at Downtown Fort Worth, Inc., said Monday’s event was the first blood drive to be held downtown.

Mitch Mitchell: 817-390-7752, @mitchmitchel3

Diane A. Smith: 817-390-7675, @dianeasmith1

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