ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Many people in Central Florida may remember the long lines of people gathering to donate blood right after the Pulse shooting in June of 2016. People had the chance Wednesday — nearly five years later — to once again show their support.   

What You Need To Know

  •  OneBlood hosted the One Pulse Blood Drive in Orange County Wednesday

  •  The blood drive was held in remembrance of the 49 people killed on June 12, 2016, during the Pulse nightclub attack

  • OneBlood officials say they had a goal of 30 pints during the drive, but received 45

OneBlood on Wednesday teamed up with the University of Central Florida Police Department and UCF's LGBTQ+ Services for the One Pulse Blood Drive. Several UCF Police officers donated blood.

Some members of the department responded to Pulse the night of the shooting.

“We should always remember the past. We should always remember things and learn from them and understand them – not only to prevent them for the future but to prepare for other future events that may occur so we know how to respond and help support those in need,” Sgt. Adam Casebolt said.

Gerardo Alvarado says it’s been awhile since he’s been able to give blood.

“I regularly give blood, but because COVID-19 I wasn’t really able to,” he said.

Nearly five years after the shooting that took 49 lives and injured dozens more, Alvarado has been looking back on the horror of what happened.

“I went over to the history center in downtown Orlando where they have the exhibit about the Pulse tragedy, so thinking about that I just thought I’m going to give blood — this is a great opportunity,” he said.

Alvarado plans to focus on emergency medicine when he starts medical school in North Carolina in the fall.

“Hopefully I don’t have to encounter that kind of tragedy, but if I do I want to be adequately trained to serve those people,” he said.

Alvarado remembers seeing the long lines helping back then — they helped inspire him to help out nearly five years later.

“It’s good to see there are a lot more good people out in the world doing these kind of things,” Alvarado said.

OneBlood says it surpassed its goal of collecting 30 pints of blood by collecting about 45 pints during the blood drive.