American Red Cross holds blood drive in wake of Highland Park shooting

Karen Jordan Image
Tuesday, July 12, 2022
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The American Red Cross held a blood drive Tuesday, honoring the vicitims of the Highland Park parade shooting on July 4.

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- The American Red Cross held a blood drive Tuesday in honor of the victims in Highland Park.

Peter Henry was one of the first people to arrive for the blood drive organized by the city of Highland Park and the Red Cross. Henry said after the 4th of July parade shooting, he wanted to help in any way he could.

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"I've never given blood before," Henry said, "but for this event, of course, I have to give blood."

Henry was not alone. Many people wanted to give the gift of life after the shooting. Even though there is no current blood supply shortage, the Red Cross said it supports any effort to donate blood.

Minutes after the blood drive was announced at the Highland Park Country Club, all the appointments were booked.

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"I think the response from the community has been absolutely overwhelming," said Amanda Civitello, a spokesperson for the city of Highland Park. "People have really come together to support each other."

That included Mike Fitzgerald, a Vernon Hills resident with no direct ties to Highland Park. He said his O-positive blood type can help many people.

"I just felt that if I could do something to help, that it was so very tragic," Fitzgerald said.

It's still a highly emotional time for many people. Henry is a Highland Park resident who was not at the parade last week, but recently went to the Uptown area to pay his respects to the victims.

"I teared up a little bit," Henry said. "I didn't directly know any of those folks, but I know people who do know them and it's hard for everybody."