Bourbon Street shooting motivates people to donate blood

Published: Jul. 28, 2014 at 1:46 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2016 at 8:56 PM CDT
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Detectives investigating the Bourbon St. shooting on June 29, 2014.
Detectives investigating the Bourbon St. shooting on June 29, 2014.

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Motivated by last month's mass shooting on Bourbon Street, hundreds turned out for a blood drive Sunday on Freret Street. Organizers say given all of the shootings and violence in New Orleans, it's critical for area hospitals to have fresh blood, to help save lives.

In typical New Orleans fashion, live music and entertainment greeted people participating in a blood drive Sunday at the Public House. But it was last month's Bourbon Street shooting, in which nine people were shot and one killed, that drew them to the event.

Donor Chelsea Beaver says, "I was actually near Bourbon Street that night and it was pretty startling just because I haven't been that close to a place with such a big shooting."

Beaver wanted to give her blood to support others in need. That was also the thinking of Christina Duggar, one of the organizers of this event. "They had the blood on the shelves whenever the shooting happened but we need to replenish it," said Duggar.

Duggar and her Organ Grinders dance troupe, joined forces with the New Orleans Musicians Clinic for the effort. Duggar explains, "Things happen all the time and it's just our responsibility to keep this community together."

Blood donor David Farrell is a member of the Musicians Clinic. He says he's seen first-hand over the years how lives can be changed by senseless acts of crime on the streets of New Orleans. "I have a lot of friends that've been affected by the violence so I've been blessed not to be, so I'm here to try to help," said Farrell.

A representative for The Blood Center says high profile shootings like the one on Bourbon Street typically lead to more community action. "It brings to mind, to the forefront of people's minds that there is a need for blood and that's a way that they can help," said Amanda Chittenden.

It's something the center is grateful for but Chittenden reminds people, the center needs blood on a daily basis, saying, "It does have a shelf life so we need blood, fresh blood, each day to make sure that those hospitals are supplied."

Events like the one Sunday on Freret Street, Chittenden believes, are a good start.

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