MARK YOUR CALENDAR! The 10th Annual Free Ice Cream Social benefiting Kate’s Kart is Saturday, June 16, 2018 from 11 - 3 at Riverside Gardens in Leo, Indiana. This free event is our largest fundraiser of the year and promises a day of fun, games, rides, entertainment and FREE ICE CREAM.
The little memorial in honor of "Baby Kate" continues to grow, blossom and flourish into more than we could have ever hoped. Hundreds of thousands of kids have had their hospital experience brightened through the gift of a new book. Give the gift of a free book in celebration of our 10th year!
Catch a glimpse of Kate's Kart, all wrapped up into a 4 minute video. We invite you to take a few minutes to learn about who we are, what we do and how you can help us spread smiles to hospitalized children all over Northeast Indiana.Play Video
Kate's Kart is a not-for-profit organization that supplies brand new, free books to hospitalized children to keep for their enjoyment. Our goal is to promote literacy and encourage children, and their families, to read on an ongoing basis. We currently have over 100 volunteers collecting, counting, sorting, labeling, stocking and distributing more than 3,200 books per month via 27 karts and 7 book tubs at 18 Northeast Indiana hospitals.
Kate's Kart is all about books...and smiles! It's a simple idea, really. Through the gifting of a brand new book, it is our goal to brighten the day of a hospitalized child. Whether that child is scared, hurting or just bored, it is our mission to make his or her day just a little bit better. Books are a powerful tool and can help the child feel comforted, distracted and loved in an environment that may be just a little bit overwhelming.
Johnny was born on July 6, 2017 at Dupont Hospital in Fort Wayne, IN. He was born at 31 weeks and was 2lbs 9oz. When he came into the world, his Dad and I were scared beyond words. I didn’t get to see him for 24 hours and I remember the first time going in to see him, I asked his Dad where the book “Muddy Paws” came from…he said he wasn’t sure…The next day, another book arrived…and by this time, we were both curious, so we asked his nurse. She told us the story behind Kate’s Kart and we couldn’t believe the generosity behind it. We had a 52 day NICU stay and accumulated 30 books. We can’t thank Kate’s Kart enough for providing us with a new book to read to Johnny just about every other day or so. Johnny enjoys being read to and I’ll make sure to share the story with him when he’s older.View All Testimonials
Our first daughter was in the NICU for 2 nights. My wife and I were both a wreck during this time. As she got better we were given a great children’s book by Kate’s Kart. I remember reading this to her and seeing how intently she was listening and looking at my wife and I. This was the first time I knew everything would be alright. This was a wonderful gift. Thanks for this moment that will always stay with me.View All Testimonials
My 3 year old son had to come to the ER, which was pretty scary for him and for me. Soon the nurse came in and asked him if he’d like to pick out a book which he was so excited about. Reading it to him really helped calm both our nerves. Thank you so much for what you do.View All Testimonials
One of the first times my daughter had to go to the hospital and stay for several days, Kate’s Kart came around and offered my daughter a book. Considering we didn’t have a chance to grab anything from our house, we didn’t have anything to entertain our daughter as tests were being ran and strangers walked in and out constantly. There was a book I read to my daughter, Hope, at our house everyday. To our great surprise, Kate’s Kart had that exact book! Hope was super excited and made the transition from ER to actual hospital stay that much less stressful. I actually asked the woman what was Kate’s Kart about and when she told me the story behind that, I almost cried. It is very much the little things that make a difference. This is one of those things.View All Testimonials
|Our son Braylon was born 9 weeks early and in the NICU for a month. Kate’s Kart came around twice a week and left books. We read them to him often and it kept our spirits up on our long journey! We were then back at Parkview Regional in Fort Wayne at 2 months old for pneumonia and aspirating into the lungs. We can’t thank Kate’s Kart enough for the books which we will continue to read to our son for a very long time!|
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Preston and his twin sister, Paige, were born at 35 weeks on December 30, 2011. Preston was whisked away to the NICU for 10 days due to breathing problems. His sister was healthy. I will never forget the day I found his first book beneath his isolette. I asked the NICU nurse where the book came from and she told me that a volunteer with Kate’s Kart had dropped it off. I’m still not sure if it was a volunteer or nurse who read our first Kate’s Kart book to my precious boy, but I do remember her telling me that the book was read to him. That feeling right there… Somebody gave my baby their undivided attention that day and spoke directly to him! What a feeling of comfort. So for that, thank you from the bottom of my heart Kate’s Kart and to whomever read to Preston! We still enjoy our Kate’s Kart books and they will forever bring back such a comforting feeling.View All Testimonials
Our daughter Courtney received her first Kates Kart book two months before she turned 4 while admitted to KCH for pneumonia. It was a Winnie the Pooh book that brought tons of smiles to our daughter. At the age of 5.5 Courtney was diagnosed with enteritis related juvenile arthritis which required IV infusions at Lutheran hospital every 2 weeks to control it. Kates kart became an even bigger part of our lives then her face would light up when they’d come to our room and offer her a book, it gave her something to take her mind off of the infusions. The volunteers are so patient as she takes forever to carefully pick out just the perfect book, they offer suggestions and discuss what she might like. They always put a smile on her face no matter what. Courtney is 8 now and she still receives infusions at Lutheran and is still like a kid in a candy store when she sees Kates kart on the floor. The first book she learned to read by herself was Dr. Seuss, One Fish, Two Fish which she received from your cart. Courtney collects books on her birthday for the cart. Kates Kart has meant a lot to our family it has made getting infusions not a struggle because she has something to look forward to when she arrives even if we arrive after they’ve been on the floor there’s always a special book waiting with her name on it. This past summer she was asked to speak to some of our state senators about juvenile arthritis, one of them asked her if she ever felt sad about missing school for her infusions, her response was ” no my infusions are fun because I get a new book from Kates Kart” You’ve made a great impact on our family and we will forever be grateful to you!View All Testimonials
Our son was in the NICU for roughly 4 weeks at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital. Our stay was an emotional roller coaster. Throughout this time, we met many great people and participated heavily in Kate’s Kart. After grabbing a book, we would read it to our son. During this time, our minds would drift away from the anxiety that parents feel while in the NICU. For the duration of the book, we were just parents reading to our son! Believe me, anything that provides families in duress with a sense of normalcy is a noble cause in my opinion. It also helped our older children cope with the separation they felt from their brother! We would tell them the books were a gift from their brother. They loved it!!!View All Testimonials
Over the years, we have learned that there are specific books which are quickly chosen off the karts and bring the most joy to the children. In a hospital environment which can be very scary and foreign, book with characters that the children know and love bring the most comfort.
When you donate dollars, we are able to purchase the books in the most demand. We know which specific type of book is needed at the time and will be placed immediately on the karts to brighten the day of hospitals children.
Plus, due to arrangements with book sellers and publishers, Kate’s Kart is able to purchase books tax free and at a 20-60% discount from a normal consumer. This means your donated dollar can buy twice as many books.
We understand that many people love to go shopping and like to get their children involved in purchasing books. We ask that you keep these few things in mind when donating books: