Caroline’s Cart: rolling out to a grocery store near you

Caroline and her mom at the storeGrocery shopping with kids can be a daunting task. I certainly don’t envy the super-moms who chase their hyper toddlers down the frozen treat aisle with a cereal box in one hand and an infant in the other. As a youngster, my wide eyes would fixate on mac-and-cheese and Skittles. My poor mom had to put up with my weekly waterworks and quivering lip begging routine.

For one out of every five American families, grocery store tribulations go beyond controlling a child’s wandering eye. As children with special needs outgrow the traditional built-in shopping cart seats, parents are left with no option but to maneuver around with a shopping cart in one arm and a wheelchair in the other.

Back in January, blog moderator Beth Finke introduced us to Drew Ann Long’s creation, Caroline’s Cart. The cart, named in honor of her daughter Caroline who has Rett’s Syndrome, was designed to accommodate people with a variety of levels and types of disabilities. Drew Ann’s goal was for families of special needs children to have an equal shopping experience. After five years, Drew Ann’s vision is becoming a reality.

Technibilt, a member of the world’s largest producer of shopping carts, has joined the cause to help this underserved market. The official product launch was July 18th. Technibilt will begin manufacturing Caroline’s Cart this August. Through this partnership, Caroline’s Cart will begin popping up at grocery stores across the nation!

It’s amazing to see a company like Technibilt address the needs of an often ignored population. Many may not realize how great the need for this kind of innovation is since they see few families at stores needing such a thing. The truth is this lack of visibility shows just how crucial this kind of innovation is! Moms are forced to hire sitters just so they can make a simple trip to the neighborhood grocery store.

The Long family has already won me over. Caroline Long, the 2012 National Youth Ambassador for Easter Seals, may not be able to speak, but her beaming smile says it all. Drew Ann’s dedication has shifted her grassroots effort into a mainstream reality. And she doesn’t plan on stopping! Drew Ann’s next mission is to create a foundation that will put Caroline’s Cart into stores in rural towns that would not be able to afford them. Many news articles label Drew Ann as a “stay at home mom.” Truth is, Drew Ann is far from that simple title, she is a disability advocate who will revolutionize every-day life for families of children with special needs.

For more information on Caroline’s Cart visit . If you want to see some fun pictures of families enjoying the cart, be sure to check out the Caroline’s Cart Facebook page. I’m anxiously awaiting the cart’s arrival at my local grocery stores!


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