ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) -- As an act of solidarity and in memory of the Uvalde mass shooting victims, elementary school students, teachers and parents in Orange County came together to host a blood drive. It happened on World Blood Donors Day.
"After I finished school one day my mom told me about it in the car and I felt really bad for the kids and
every day I prayed for them and their families," said William Kem, a student who showed up at the drive. "After I learned about this, I am just really sad people do this to kids and teachers at schools."
O.C. churches helped the schools host the blood drive at the California Zion church in Anaheim. All of their appointments were booked and they were also able to take walk-ins. Many volunteers also donated for reasons close to their hearts.
"I have family members who are cancer patients and they really need the blood to heal. Right now because of the pandemic we have a really big shortage of blood. So I have been motivated to help out coordinate," said Yvonne Lau, a donor and volunteer.
According to the American Red Cross, nearly 2.5 million people donate blood every year. But donations tend to decline when summer vacation begins. The Red Cross said they need all the help they can get because blood transfusions don't take breaks. Students at the blood drive helped by creating a hand art
memorial in honor of the Uvalde victims and it will be shared with Uvalde. Among those at the drive was the Kem family.
"[I] wanted to put my kids in a situation where they can understand the value of life and be able to support," said Camera Kem, William's father.
Blood drive organizers said they plan to host more drives throughout the year.