9th Annual Ice Cream Social

MARK YOUR CALENDAR! The 9th Annual Free Ice Cream Social benefiting Kate’s Kart is scheduled for Saturday, June 17, 2017 from 11:00-3:00 at Riverside Gardens in Leo, Indiana . This free event is our one and only fundraiser for the year and promises a day of fun, games, rides, entertainment and FREE ICE CREAM.

We're currently looking for sponsors who help to underwrite the cost of the day, as well as provide the additional funds that make this a successful fundraiser.

Get to Know Kate’s Kart

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.

Shop Kroger & Support Kate’s Kart

If you shop at Kroger, supporting Kate’s Kart is easy! Simply link your Kroger Plus Card to our organization, and from that point on, a percentage of your purchase will be donated directly to Kate’s Kart! Kroger Community Rewards requires re-enrollment every year. The time to re-enroll is NOW!

Providing FREE Books to Hospitalized Children

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 3,000 books per month via 25 karts at 17 Northeast Indiana hospitals.

Our Mission and Why We Do What We Do.

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.


Kate Kate

Marie T

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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We received the perfect book for a 2 year old motorcycle enthusiast recovering from a tonsillectomy overnight! Thank you, Kate’s Kart!!

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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.

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Kate’s Kart has been such a great thing for us to start a tradition to read to our little Girl every night before we go home… Thank You!

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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!

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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!!!

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One year ago today…tucking my little valentine in after his bath and reading his first Kate’s Kart book (Curious George).

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Just received a book from Kate’s Kart, the best part of having a sick kid in the hospital. Thank you!!!

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Hello, my name is Jessica Gray. In December 2013, my daughter was admitted into Ball Memorial Hospital with RSV. She was there for roughly 3 days. During her stay, a woman came in with an Eric Carle book, “My First Shape Book.” She also had brought a blanket with frogs on it. My daughter, to this day, sleeps with that blanket and the book she received continues to be her favorite. Kate’s Kart is a blessing beyond belief. They brought hope and light into a time in our lives where I almost felt there was none. Kate’s Kart has shown me that complete strangers can bring a part of you out, you didn’t know you had. They are truly an amazing organization, and I hope to one day be able to pay it forward in their honor.

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My name is Jessica Hunter. My husband and I welcomed our baby boy into the world on September 28, 2013, at Ball Memorial Hospital. We were over the moon. Then, two days later our world came crashing down. Our baby boy developed a terrible infection, later found out to be spinal meningitis. We spent a total of 28 days in the NICU at Ball Memorial Hospital. A NICU stay has to be one of the hardest things my husband and I have ever experienced, and keeping our spirits up was difficult. That is why we were so thankful for Kate’s Kart. We loved seeing the kart full of books! The books were symbolic to us for two reasons. One was that we could we read to our baby boy in the hospital which brought some normalcy to a situation we never imagined would happened. The second being that these books would be going home with our baby boy, and after having a baby almost not make it through his first week, this was huge in keeping our spirits up. We still have these books and read them often! We tell our son each time we read one of Kate’s books that he got this book while he was in the hospital. Our son’s favorite is a book called SMILE. Kate’s Kart is such an amazing program that my husband and myself appreciate so much

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Your Dollar Goes Twice as Far When Donated!

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.

So, You Want to Donate New Books? Here’s How!

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:

  • All books must be brand new and recently purchased
  • The more interactive the book, the better.   These include:  touch and feel, lift the flap, musical books or books with attached toys
  • We (and the kids) prefer high quality interactive books that will provide distraction for an extended period of time
  • Look to our wish lists for examples of books to buy
  • Please do not write in or attach any type of sticker to the book