NEW ORLEANS, LA – Motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death among children aged 1-14 in Louisiana, according to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. Protective equipment that could prevent these injuries, such as car seats, booster seats and seat belts, are sometimes underutilized or not used correctly.
Recognizing that some families in Louisiana cannot afford to buy the proper child safety seats, SONIC Drive In restaurants have banded together to raise money for that purpose. SONIC Drive-In has created a “Tot” calendar – which will be sold at over 150 locations in the state. “We realize that many families in Louisiana cannot afford car seats for their children, which prompted us to find a way to donate car seats for needy families,” said Gary Wilkerson, President of the Kergan Bros. SONIC group. “It is going to be our mission to keep children safe in a car.” This is the first time that all SONIC locations in Louisiana have teamed up in a philanthropic effort.
SONIC has partnered with University Medical Center New Orleans and the Louisiana Passenger Safety Task Force for this project. All proceeds from calendar sales are being directed to the Louisiana Passenger Safety Task Force to purchase and distribute child safety seats based on family needs in the region. "When used correctly, child restraints are the number one factor in reducing serious injuries and death in motor vehicle crashes,” said Bridget Gardner, RN, Community Injury Prevention Program Coordinator at University Medical Center New Orleans. “This partnership provides an avenue to reach the unrestrained population to prevent the injuries that we far too often witness as a Level 1 Trauma Center.”
The theme for the 2017 SONIC “Tot” calendar is “Celebrating Louisiana Festivals” and each calendar includes discount coupons at SONIC Drive-Ins in Louisiana. The calendar was sold last year at limited locations and SONIC was able to donate over 800 car seats. “Our customers made this successful by purchasing the calendars and we are striving to double sales this year,” stated Wilkerson. “They recognized the need for families to have car seats for their children.”
“This is a wonderful initiative from SONIC to contribute child safety seats to those in need. Through the sale of calendars, SONIC is able to provide a lifesaving resource to caregivers to lessen the number of children seriously injured or killed in motor vehicle crashes,” said Gardner.
Calendars are only $5 and will be available at all SONIC locations in Louisiana starting on Nov. 16 at participating locations.