Blood centers honor Toyota

In addition to making cars, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky is a blood-donating machine.

The Georgetown factory, which has been running blood drives since 1988, is being honored as "Corporation of the Year" by America's Blood Centers in Washington.

"The depth of their commitment is unparalleled," said William S. Reed, president and chief executive of the Kentucky Blood Center, in remarks announcing the award. America's Blood Centers represents non-profit community blood centers like KBC across the country.

Since 1988, the plant has run 134 weeklong blood drives that have resulted in more than 40,000 units of blood being drawn.

Twelve percent of the plant's employees are regular blood donors. That's more than double the national average of 5 percent, said Dan May, who works in human resources at the plant and also serves on the KBC board.

May said the plant is KBC's largest donor group in Kentucky. He will accept the award Monday and called it "gravy, quite frankly."

"We do it because we believe in the mission of the Blood Center," he said.

The company has shown that through more than just blood drives. In 2005, it donated $250,000 for construction of KBC's Lexington headquarters.