A Cookeville man who's the father of a special needs child hopes to help similar parents with one of life's necessities.
Jeff Davidson discovered Caroline's Cart online. He said the special made shopping cart is a very simple solution for parents who need to shop with a special needs child or an adult who requires a wheelchair.
“A lot of times you'll find that it's extremely difficult to shop with a special needs child or adult because you have the wheelchair behind you and you're trying to push the cart and pull the wheelchair,” explained Davidson.
The uniquely designed shopping cart has multiple safety features and is easier for parents to use than a traditional cart.
“It has a special handle that opens and closes for loading and unloading, a safety strap, five point harness to secure them and this is real important, the seat itself is at a slight recline,” Davidson said.
Currently, a Caroline's Cart is being used at the I.G.A supermarket in Cookeville. The shopping cart is the only one of its kind in the state of Tennessee.
“I'm a dad of a child with special needs myself,” he said. “When I saw this, my first thought was, ‘Man that would be great for my wife because my own son is in a wheelchair.' And it makes it difficult.”
Davidson contacted the owner of the I.G.A and asked if the store would use one, if Davidson and his friends raised the money to buy one.
Davidson said the store owner told him that there was no need to raise the money, that he would purchase one for the store.
“Our hope is that every grocery store that is serious about serving the entire community, including those with special needs will purchase at least one,” Davidson said.
Dusty Fleming, manager of the Cookeville I.G.A told Nashville's News 2 parents who've used the device, are very happy to have a solution to what is often one of the more frustrating days of the week.
“We've had it about two months now, and they get used about 15 times a week,” said Fleming.
I.G.A goes even further to help parents of special needs children and adults.
Shoppers who call ahead will have the cart waiting for them in the parking lot when they get to the store.
Traditional shopping carts cost around $125 each while a Caroline's Cart cost $850.
Caroline's Cart was invented by a family in Birmingham, Alabama.
Click here for more information on Caroline's Cart.