Earlier this year, Target made a widely lauded announcement: The retailer vowed to stock almost all of its U.S. stores with at least one Caroline’s Cart -- a shopping cart designed for people with special needs.
The cart, said Target at the time, could “be a game changer for families,” allowing them to shop without having to simultaneously maneuver a cart and a wheelchair.
This week, a Utah mom is sharing how Target’s decision has positively impacted her life.
In a post on Facebook, Rebecca Bell from St. George explains how Target’s Caroline’s Carts have enabled her daughter, Emma, to “participate in one more aspect of life.”
“Target, I'm sorry that all the silly negativity surrounding your toilets has caused this awesomeness to be overlooked,” Bell wrote, referring to the company’s recent decision to make its restrooms transgender-friendly. “This is a game changer for families like mine. It means I can shop without having to push a cart and pull a wheel chair. It means my little girl can participate in one more aspect of life. We are beyond excited about it.”
Caroline’s Cart is a shopping cart with an extra-large, forward-facing seat which can accommodate both children and adults. It was created by Alabama couple Drew Ann and David Long for their special needs daughter, Caroline, who uses a wheelchair.
The idea, said Drew Ann, had come to her one day while shopping for groceries with Caroline and her toddler son.
“I remember so desperately struggling with a wheelchair, a 2-year-old and a shopping cart,” Drew Ann said in a video on Caroline Cart’s site. “I remember, I thought, ‘What would help me?’”
And so, the idea for the special cart was born.
"Our goal is to enable special needs children to more easily be included in their family's every-day life by making Caroline's Cart available at retailers across the country," said Drew Ann in 2011. "David and I made a commitment that this cart was going to happen -- parents and caregivers of disabled children should have access to this."
Caroline's Carts can be found in several stores around the country, including some Dillons, Kroger, Safeway, Hy-Vee, Busch's, Food Lion and Trader Joe's outlets. Find out which stores in your state have Caroline's Carts here.