Last weekend, I attended a friend’s baby shower. Inevitably, the conversation turned toward how life dramatically changes with the birth of a child. And, because shopping is what we women do, we shared our favorite tips and tricks for shopping with babies and little ones.
It came to my attention recently, however, that mothers like Drew Ann Long face a different kind of challenge when doing the family shopping.
My name is Drew Ann Long. My husband David and I are the parents of Caroline, a special needs child, who along with our other two children bring much happiness and joy to our lives. Having a special needs child presents unique challenges, but as a family we have learned to cope with these challenges and accentuate our blessings. However, there was one challenge that often presented itself with no apparent solution – grocery shopping. Something I do several times a week.
When Caroline was small, I was able to use the shopping carts that retailers provided. As she grew older and bigger, it was clear that I would soon have to find another option because she would no longer fit in the cart. When I needed to shop, I felt a sense of frustration due to my limited options. Pushing both Caroline in a wheelchair and a grocery cart at the same time was not feasible. I would have to find a sitter for Caroline, bring someone with me to push her wheelchair, or take her shopping with me and only purchase what I could carry while pushing her wheelchair.
Eventually, my frustration turned to innovation. I made up my mind that Caroline and other kids with special needs deserved the same opportunity as other children – a specialized shopping cart that would enable them to more easily participate with their families in the shopping experience. So, in 2008 I began my journey to invent a shopping cart for special needs children.
Please watch this short video demonstration of Drew Ann, Caroline, and her special cart:
Isn’t that awesome?! I applaud Mrs. Long for taking the initiative and championing this cause for her daughter and other children with special needs. Stores all over North America should have carts like this one.
Please help spread the word (use your blogs, facebook, and twitter) about Caroline’s Cart. Their mission is “to make Caroline’s Cart available to retailers everywhere, providing a quality product for special needs children that further enables their participation in mainstream society with their family through the common activity of grocery shopping.”
Thanks for your help.