Seeing something like the recent mass shootings in El Paso and Ohio is truly terrifying and heartbreaking. Being far removed from such an incident all the way across the state there isn't much we can do except offer support for the community. But, there is something concrete that we can do locally, and that is donate blood.

According to the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, local hospitals and the center have been receiving phone calls from community members asking if blood is needed to share with the victims of the mass shooting in El Paso, and how to donate.

Blood & Tussue Center officials say that although they haven't received any requests for blood donations, it's important to remember that summer typically brings lower donation numbers that other times during the year, and keeping in mind the number of hospitals our local center serves, there is always a need for donations.

When donating the gift of life, you can do so in honor of the victims that had their lives taken away needlessly by a gunman. Incidents like these reinforce the fact that communities need to have adequate blood supplies on hand before any kind of tragedy strikes.

To donate, visit the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center at 1109 Sam Houston Drive in Victoria Monday through Wednesday from 8:30am to 7:30pm, and Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8:30am to 5:00pm.

Visit SouthTexasBlood.org for information on donating and to make an appointment.