"Bucks for Buckles" Underway in McPherson County

By Jolyn Johnston-Myers
August 30, 2016

McPherson County drivers might want to be on the lookout over the next couple of weeks for people hanging out on street corners giving away money.

It might sound like panhandling in reverse, but in reality it’s just the McPherson County’s annual “Bucks for Buckles” campaign.

“It’s a positive reinforcement program,” explained Tammie Henson, Coordinator for the local McPherson County Coalition that serves under the global Safekids umbrella.

“Instead of people getting ticketed when they do bad things, this is when they get a positive reward for doing the right thing and buckling up.”

“Bucks for Buckles” is an annual safety belt awareness program that will be responsible for randomly handing out dollars to drivers between now and September 10.

“We don’t give an exact date or place,” Henson confirmed. “Because the whole purpose of it is to catch people who are wearing their seatbelts on a regular basis.”

“Bucks for Buckles” is being held in cities all across Kansas, but the sponsorship for the McPherson County campaign comes from close to home.

“It’s actually underwritten by State Farm Insurance,” Henson explained. “We have support both from Jim LaDuke’s office and our other agent Galen Shields.

“McPherson Hospital is our lead agency,” she added. “And then we’re a coalition of different groups that come together under the Safekids banner to do things.” A banner that gives the local coalition a lot more support, educational materials, and grant opportunities than if they were just a local organization.

Members of these different local agencies involved in the campaign, including law enforcement, fire departments, EMS agencies, along with State Farm employees, will be devoting their time this week and next to giving out over $250 worth of Bucks for Buckles, made possible by the grant from State Farm and support from the local State Farm agents.

Safekids itself is a worldwide program that started in the US over 20 years ago. McPherson County has been participating in its “Bucks for Buckles” campaign every year since 2004.

For more information on Safekids and seatbelt safety, check out the state’s website at www.safekidskansas.org

For more information on the Safekids McPherson County Coalition, or this year’s “Bucks for Buckles” campaign, contact Tammie Henson at620-241-2250 Ext. 451.