Carter Kits began as a grass roots call to action embodied by a simple text message sent by Justin Severs (Saginaw Township Police Detective) to Brandon Hausbeck (Saginaw Fire Department Training Officer) and Andrew Keller (Owner, Knockout Real Estate) in 2019. “We need a tool to help us when we arrive at a scene with a special needs child.” Justin’s son Carter has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and his idea was to equip as many police, fire and EMS vehicles as possible with the means to calm distressed children like Carter when arriving on scene. Andrew connected with a family friend, Dr. Ellen Preen, a clinical neuropsychologist who has both a daughter with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and extensive experience working with individuals impacted by ASD, trauma, anxiety, depression and learning challenges. Together, Andrew, Justin, Brandon and Ellen see the need to expand the scope of our efforts to any child in crisis who may benefit from the contents of a Carter Kits Sensory Bag.

On January 1, 2022, Carter Kits became a non-profit organization with the mission of making the world a better place by developing/promoting an affordable means to address comfort/security needs of children in crisis. Carter Kits Sensory Bags contain items known to comfort/appropriately focus children on the Autism Spectrum, as well as other children who find themselves overwhelmed/impacted by traumatic events.

What’s in the bags? Dr. Ellen Preen used her clinical expertise to help craft the items in bags and keep them affordable for municipalities hoping to incorporate Carter Kits to their departments. Inside, you will find a weighted blanket, noise-cancelling headphones, a set of fidget toys, sunglasses and a non-verbal cue card.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 44 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, a developmental disability that affects all ethnic and socioeconomic groups. ASD can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.

On March 26, 2023 the Tri City WELS Men’s Basketball League will host the 8th Annual Celebrity All Star Game. The game will take place in Saginaw at Michigan Lutheran Seminary. Tipoff is 5:00 pm. There will be an autograph session after the game. Money raised from this years’ game will benefit Carter Kits