The New York Times
As Las Vegas residents and visitors woke to the news on Monday of a mass shooting outside a resort in the city, many responded not by turning away but by reaching out.
They contributed water and food, provided comfort in the form of blankets, and donated money and blood.
No more donations needed at Thomas Mack! All the water, food and supplies are being packed up and rerouted. pic.twitter.com/UF5GYHkdxV
Lines formed at daybreak outside of blood banks operated by United Blood Services. Bottled beverages, food and other supplies were stacked up on the floor and tables at the Thomas Mack Center, an arena on the University of Nevada campus.
The center is near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, where a gunman, identified as Stephen Paddock, fired on an outdoor music festival, sending thousands fleeing on Sunday night. At least 58 people were killed and more than 500 injured. Some survivors took shelter in the dark at the center.
Hundreds arriving at the Thomas Mack. METRO taking statements. LV locals bringing water, providing rides back to hotels and homes. pic.twitter.com/zpZFrLdVGO
Following those who fled in fear were the helpers.
On Monday, Jarrett Peper, a receptionist at the center, arrived at work just before 8 a.m. and there were already supplies for people who had taken shelter. As the morning wore on, there were piles of blankets and donations of coffee and doughnuts.
“It was packed,” said Ms. Peper in a telephone interview. “All morning, blankets, food and water, all kinds of people coming up to help.”
“It’s incredible, absolutely incredible,” she said of the response. “When there is a tragedy like that, everybody cares and it brings everybody together.”
LV has come together. Donation at the Thomas Mack are good. 200+ remain inside, then can leave whenever they feel comfortable. @FOX5Vegas pic.twitter.com/2AXHYErwHU
On social media, people posted pictures from blood donation sites around Las Vegas and other cities in Nevada, and shared locations where people could donate. Lines threaded around the block and waiting rooms were filled with people standing or sitting.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department promoted a list of donation centers on Twitter, and it traveled widely. Some Twitter users asked if they could donate blood from across the country, or how long they would have to wait if they just got a new tattoo or recently donated blood.
At one of the United Blood Services locations in Las Vegas, a reporter from KVVU-TV estimated that the line stretched for three blocks.
These are some blood donation centers here in Vegas. If you’re out here, check in w/ Red Cross, United Blood Services, on how to donate: pic.twitter.com/JoaqidnXBv
The line kept getting longer, and people continued to wait to donate at united blood services. #RJnow #vegasshooting pic.twitter.com/2eUG6GJY26
Just arrived at united blood services.Look at this beautiful 3 hr line.This is how Vegas comes together! pic.twitter.com/cjDkwBtS3N
Some donors were in line as early as 2 a.m. at a center in Las Vegas, Julie Scott, a spokeswoman for United Blood Services, said. The early arrivals did not budge from their place even when told the centers would not open until 7 a.m., she said.
“Many of them stayed, and have already donated, and are now volunteering and passing out water to others in line,” Ms. Scott said in a telephone interview.
She said U.B.S. supplied 200 units — each about a pint — of blood products early on Monday to at least one hospital, the University Medical Center in Las Vegas. Those products were not taken from donors on Monday; the process takes 24 to 36 hours to put blood through testing after it is given.
“The blood on the shelf when these tragedies occur is saving patients’ lives, and we need people to come back and replenish,” she said.