NEW ORLEANS – Dozens of people came Sunday to St. Catherine of Sienna Church, the home parish of Rep. Steve Scalise, to help out with a blood drive in the congressman’s honor.

Wearing purple and gold, the colors of Scalise’s LSU alma mater, people in and around Metairie said they were “ScaliseStrong.”

“I’ve known Steve over half my life and he’s a doer and a fighter,” said Jeb Bruneau.

Even though donations made at the blood drive won’t go directly to Scalise, they’ll stay in southern Louisiana to help those in need.

“I think it’s a really nice thing to do for Steve, plus I’m sure a lot of other people will benefit from all of this too,” said Bruneau.

It didn’t matter if the donor knew Scalise or not, one by one they sat in the chair, took a deep breath and smiled, knowing they were making a difference.

“It’s a freat feeling to know that when there’s tragedy we can come together as a community and help people,” said Steve Ice, who donated blood at the drive.

People said what happened Wednesday was devastating, but they want Scalise to know they’re rooting for him.

“Happy Father’s Day to my friend, and just know you’re well-loved,” said Bruneau.

Another blood drive is planned for June 23, at Archbishop Rummel High School from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Scalise graduated high school from Rummel.