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How you can help others after shootings in Dayton and El Paso

Donate blood, money or an open ear to people in need.

MINNEAPOLIS — This weekend was tough.

Even though both shootings were hundreds of miles away, in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, they still hit home for many of us who feel that strong need to help.

Here are three things you can do right now:

First off, check in on people you know who struggle with their mental health.

Dan Reidenberg with Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) says people who deal with depression and anxiety, or have experienced tragedy in the past, may be having a tough time right now processing these shootings.

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A simple phone call, text or message lets them know you're there for them and are willing to listen.

"If you're doing OK, reach out to somebody, check in on them, make sure they're OK and also give them resources and provide support. Make sure we're saying, 'Look, this is a horrible tragedy, and it will be OK, we will get through this,'" Reidenberg says.

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Another way to help is to donate blood, but there's a catch.

The Red Cross sent out a statement this week saying there’s more than enough blood to help the victims in both Dayton and El Paso.

Nationwide the organization is dealing with an overwhelming amount of blood.

The organization is encouraging people to consider waiting a few weeks to donate so there’s a steady supply throughout the rest of the summer.

Being that you’re thinking about blood donations right now, go ahead and make an appointment now, and mark your calendar with a little note so your future self remembers why you’re donating.

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Besides blood you can also donate money.

In Dayton, community leaders have set up the Dayton Oregon District Tragedy Fund.

The group behind it, the Dayton Foundation, has been around nearly 100 years and is offering to pay all credit card fees so every penny goes to the people who need it.

Same goes for the El Paso Shooting Victims Fund, organized by the El Paso Community Foundation.

Another option in El Paso is the El Paso Victims Relief Fund that was set up by the Paso del Norte Community Foundation.

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