Maneuvering through the commissary is a difficult task to say the least. Add pushing a cart and a wheelchair and you have an even bigger challenge. Thanks to Drew Ann Long, things just got a little easier. Her daughter Caroline has Rett syndrome, which makes her unable to walk, talk or use her hands. Knowing that she would one day outgrow a traditional grocery cart, Mrs. Long invented Caroline’s Cart. This uniquely designed cart is specifically tailored to children with special needs.
What makes Caroline’s Carts different from traditional shopping carts?
It has a large seat that holds up to 250 pounds and the 5-point harness ensures the passenger’s safety. The handles swing out making it easier to place the child in and take him or her out. No more back pain the moment you enter the commissary from lifting. Doesn’t your back need a rest?
The cart has a foot rest for the passenger and unlike traditional carts, this one also has a much needed brake. This will not only be helpful in loading your child in the commissary, but also keeping them safe in the parking lot as you transition them into your vehicle.
Don’t worry, this cart is so well designed that you still have plenty of space for groceries. You don’t lose the undercarriage either. You know, where you usually toss the toilet paper that comes in bulk packaging.
You can also toss your anxiety. Some parents worry about going to the commissary and maneuvering the isles with their child. They either bring family members or friends with them to make it easier or leave their child at home with a caregiver and tackle the commissary alone.
Caroline’s Cart will be welcomed by thousands of families who have children with disabilities. This shopping cart will make it possible for kids with disabilities to be part of a family shopping outing. More than this, when families use Caroline’s Cart in neighborhood stores, it sends an important message to everyone who sees them that kids with disabilities are kids first and need to be included.
–Sara Brewster, VP Marketing Communications National Easter Seals
Now imagine taking your special needs child to the commissary and being able to maneuver the produce section easier. More importantly, imagine how your child will feel. They will now be part of the the trip, sitting up high with better visibility of the fruits and vegetables. You’ll be able to look your child in the eyes as they will be sitting up higher than a traditional wheelchair. Hopefully they will look forward to going to the commissary now. Shouldn’t everyone?
Caroline’s Carts are now available in 40 military commissaries in the U.S. and Randy Eller, DeCA’s deputy director of logistics, said more may be added as demand is evaluated. Check out this list of commissaries in 24 states and D.C. to see if your commissary is on the list. Next time you stop to pick up a cart look for Caroline’s Carts.