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Mom Rethinks Shopping Cart Design to Help People with Special Needs


Parents of children with special needs face challenges every day. For one mom in Alabama, overcoming an issue in the grocery store meant creating a product that would go on to help thousands of people all over the world.

When Drew Ann Long noticed eight years ago that her daughter Caroline with special needs was outgrowing the standard shopping cart, she sketched a new cart design. Pictures of the design posted on Facebook received an encouraging response.

shopping cart for special needsLong told CBS News that she “…wanted to give special needs families a ‘sense of normalcy which allows us to feel like that typical family — even if it’s at the grocery store, even if it’s for 30 minutes.”’ She applied to patent the new shopping cart design and found advisers to bring the product to market.

Getting Caroline’s Cart into stores wasn’t a simple task. “We had to rally the troops and communities to say, ‘Go to your store and tell them you need Caroline’s Cart for your special needs child,’” Long said. Hurdle after hurdle hit Long’s family, but the mom’s perseverance paid off.  Caroline’s Cart hit smaller stores in 2013, and it was in Target by 2015. Today, the carts are available in Target stores nationwide as well as in Walmart, Home Depot and other stores.

Congratulations, Ms. Long! Your creativity, motivation and persistence has made an impact on thousands of special needs families around the world. Comments by parents and family members on the Parents Caring For Special Needs Kids Facebook page truly show how this product has reached those in need.

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