RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The national Blood Emergency Readiness Corps has been activated. The group of blood centers will send blood to the hospitals in and around Uvalde, Texas. A shooting at an elementary school Tuesday morning left at least 19 children and two teachers dead.

The Blood Connection, with a location in Raleigh, has sent units of blood to South Texas. TBC said it could be asked to send more if needed. TBC said they had more blood in reserve if needed.

“Our BERC Network was activated to help our partner blood center, South Texas Blood and Tissue meet the need of trauma patients at local hospitals in Uvalde, Texas,” said Nelson Hellwig, CEO of The Alliance for Community Transfusion Services and Administrator of the BERC program.

TBC has put out a specific call for O-negative blood donors. In a tweet, TBC said, “TBC has sent units to South Texas, all of which were O-negative. Your blood type is a lifeline for victims of tragedies.”

The activation marks the fourth time since its inception in September 2021 that the BERC Network has been called upon to provide blood during a national emergency. TBC has sent blood in response to two other emergency events in the past.

“There are no words to express how deeply saddened we are about the loss of so many innocent lives,” said The Blood Connection President & CEO, Delisa English. “Because of BERC, we are at least able to help the people of South Texas and their local blood center. Times like these remind us of why we continuously urge our community to donate blood.”  

TBC said local blood supply must be stable in order for them to continue helping other community. It’s why they’re urging people to donate blood year round at any TBC center or mobile blood drive.

To find a location to donate, click here.