ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Hundreds of people in Orlando have lined up to give blood to help the victims of the massacre at a gay nightclub.
Officials at OneBlood say they have received such an overwhelming response that they are now asking donors to come back over the next several days. More than 50 people were injured and 50 were killed when a gunman opened fire inside a gay nightclub in Orlando early Sunday morning.
My Orlando is lines outside the blood center that completely wrap around the complex, and people parking across the street because the parking lot is so full. My Orlando is dozens of volunteers bringing out cases and coolers of water to pass out as people wait to donate. My Orlando is volunteers from LGBTQ Community Organizations offering their time on a Sunday to counsel and support those who need it. I refuse to let instances of mindless hate taint my Orlando. #PrayForOrlando
In the hours after the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, officials urged people to donate blood to help the victims.
In December, the nation's three-decade-old ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men was formally lifted, but there are still major restrictions to limit who can give blood. The Food and Drug Administration said it replaced the lifetime ban with a new policy barring donations from men who have had sex with a man in the previous year.