Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Puget Sound Blood Center Partners in Life
January 16, 2003

Good afternoon. Thank you for that kind introduction, Dr. Counts. I am very pleased to be here today to recognize and honor all of you.

I want to begin by thanking each of you for your donation—whether it’s blood, bone marrow, time or financial resources.

Everyone here today has made a gift to our communities. All of these forms of giving amount to the same result—helping others.

Your gifts are gifts of health and life, given altruistically and voluntarily. There is no compensation, only the desire to benefit others.

Your gifts save lives. The words “thank you” don’t often get said in person, but the recipients of these gifts—and their families—are very, very grateful.

Many of these grateful people pass it on and make the same decision to help others because they’ve experienced the difference it can make.

So your gift gives again. Your gift continues to give.

A single act of selflessness can go on forever.

You are volunteers, driven by a sense of personal responsibility. Your acceptance of this responsibility and the decision to give to others makes our communities stronger and more caring. And so, on behalf of the people of the state of Washington, I thank you.

I also want to thank and congratulate the Puget Sound Blood Center. There is a need for blood throughout Washington, and the Puget Sound Blood Center responds.

Through your efforts, some 800 donors give blood every single weekday. That’s 4,000 donations per week, and more than 200,000 donations a year. Last year, more than 70,000 patients were helped by these volunteer donations. That’s 70,000 reasons for us all to keep giving! On behalf of the people of our state, I thank you.

Last May I signed Executive Order 02-01. This order allows state employees to take paid leave for life-giving procedures. Such procedures include donating blood, organs, bone marrow and bodily tissues.

I am very proud to say that our state’s employees didn’t need an executive order to give the gift of life. They were already giving in great numbers. But they are better able to give now, better able to serve the greater good of our communities. And they’ve responded with great enthusiasm!

State agencies regularly schedule blood drives but last summer we held our first ever “Washington State Employee Blood and Bone Marrow Super Drive Week.” This was an opportunity for all Washington state employees to share life and give hope.

Participation was amazing! We hope to repeat and expand our efforts.

For all they give and continue to give, I want to thank our state employees.

During our state employee drive, those who gave blood or registered as marrow donors were given a sticker. It may sound a little childish, but I think this group will understand.

Working throughout the day, I wore my own sticker, and I was filled with pride each and every time I saw somebody else with one of those stickers. I was even prouder of the fact that no matter where I went around the Capitol campus that day, I saw so many people wearing the stickers.

They were wearing something else important as well. Smiles. The quiet smiles born of the profound feeling you get when you know you’ve done something to make the world a better place.

I see a lot of those smile out here today. You understand that feeling, too! Keep up the good work, and thank you for helping to make our state and the world a better place.

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