AUSTIN -- Hundreds of people poured into the Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas Thursday to donate blood.
"We're not close enough to do something directly, but this helps in a small way," said Ronnie Ragins.
Ragins and his wife donated blood for the first time Thursday. He said his wife passed out.
"It's been a really hard week for our nation in general, it's both of our first times. I honestly have a fear of giving blood. Given everything that's happened this week, what better time than the present to conquer that fear?" Julie Ragins said.
Blood has a shelf life of 56 days. Organizers say it's important to donate beyond the disaster.
"Platelets have an expiration of five days. We are encouraging donors to make an appointment so we can make sure there's a stable blood supply at all times rather than coming all at once," said Cynthia Rowe.