Scott Anderson giving the gift of life in the Safeway breakroom in the Auburn warehouse.

Scott Anderson, a Teamster of 43 years in the grocery industry, is soft-spoken, but don’t let his demeanor fool you.

Under the quiet exterior lies a man of great compassion and conviction who exudes a moral authority and a desire to help others through his actions.

Scott has served our Local 117 membership as a trustee on our union's executive board on and off for 20 years.

Since the mid-1980s, he has organized semi-annual blood drives for his co-workers in the Safeway warehouse. Over that time span, thousands of Teamsters have donated their blood to help save lives in our community. Their donations complement our union’s annual blood drive that takes place at the Teamsters hall each November.

"The Teamster blood drives come at a really important time of year for us."

“The Teamster blood drives come at a really important time of year for us,” says Robin Lulich, a donor resource consultant with Cascade Regional Blood Services. “There is usually high blood usage before and after the holidays. The Teamsters help boost the inventory back up.”

That means ensuring that there are ample blood reserves when disaster strikes, like when an Amtrak train derailed in Dupont last month. Cancer survivors, burn victims, surgery patients, sick kids – they all benefit from donated blood.

For Scott, the impetus to enlist his co-workers touches close to home.

Years ago, his brother-in-law was diagnosed with a rare blood disease. Scott, who had always been a regular donor, met with some of the guys at the Safeway plant. Within a day, he had forty of his co-workers signed up to donate blood.

More recently, Scott’s efforts have taken on a special significance. Nearly four years ago, his granddaughter, Laurel, was born with a congenital heart defect and had to have open-heart surgery shortly after her birth. Without blood donated by people like Scott and his fellow Teamsters, Laurel would not be alive today.

“She’s here and kicking and having a great time,” Scott says. “This is what blood does in saving lives and that’s what we’re all about.”

As Teamsters filter into the Safeway break room to donate, many greet and thank Scott for his role in organizing the drive.

Barb Miller, a stocker, who has worked as a Teamster at Safeway for thirty years, puts it this way: “I feel it’s really important to give. It helps so many - we’re kind of a big family. It’s a good thing to do to keep us together.”