County employees aid disaster victims across Pacific

July 5, 2011

By Staff

King County employees donated more than 8,100 hours of accrued leave to disaster victims in Japan and New Zealand.

The county converted leave from 458 employees into a $286,815 cash donation to the American Red Cross for continuing earthquake and tsunami relief efforts.

“This outpouring of support for our neighbors across the Pacific is another example of the determination to make a difference,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “I am so proud of King County employees for donating their hard-earned leave to help the people of Japan and New Zealand as they continue to recover from these tragic events.”

Constantine authorized the leave donation program in March, shortly after a massive earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan. Because that disaster followed a major earthquake in New Zealand, the county opted to combine efforts and help the victims of both disasters.

The county enacted a similar donation program after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Following that disaster, 367 employees donated more than 5,500 hours of leave, or almost $200,000 for Global Impact, a federation of 55 international aid agencies.

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