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Literature Carts “for a Witness to All the Nations”

Literature Carts “for a Witness to All the Nations”

APRIL 1, 2023

 For over ten years, literature carts have been an eye-catching part of our ministry. Worldwide, the carts are easily recognized. Their design is not only distinctive but also practical. You may well agree with Asenata, a sister in Poland, who says: “The carts have a simple, modest design, yet are aesthetically pleasing. They are easy to set up and move.”

 Have you ever wondered how the carts were designed and made?

An Effective Design

 In 2001, with Governing Body approval, our brothers and sisters in France began testing different methods of public witnessing, including the use of carts. They tried several designs. For example, they adapted luggage and grocery trolleys to advertise and store literature. Eventually, the France branch chose a standard design, which publishers used for many years.

Early literature cart, France, 2005

 The brothers in France were delighted with the results of their public witnessing initiative. So in 2011, the Governing Body approved a pilot program of public witnessing in New York City, U.S.A., using carts and tables. The pioneers involved in the program soon realized that the carts had many advantages, including their mobility. The pioneers also offered practical suggestions on how to improve the design of the carts. The early handmade wooden carts were quite heavy, making it hard to take them up and down steps. So they were redesigned to be lighter, but not so light that they would topple in the wind. The new design also incorporated larger and more shock-absorbent wheels, which helped on rough terrain. Additionally, a small box was added for storing extra literature.

 The pilot program was a success! So in 2012, the Governing Body approved the use of literature carts worldwide. Arrangements were made with a manufacturer to mass-produce them using lightweight yet durable materials.

 Over the years, minor refinements were made to the carts. For example, in 2015, a rain cover with a clear plastic front was added. Dina, who lives in the country of Georgia, appreciates this feature. She says, “The cart has its own ‘raincoat’ to protect the publications.” In 2017, magnetic posters were made available in some languages. Tomasz, a brother in Poland, says: “It took a lot of work to change the previous adhesive posters. The magnetic ones were a brilliant solution.” In 2019, still further changes were made both to the materials and to the manufacturing of the carts to make them even more durable.

The Production of Literature Carts

 Literature carts are made by a single manufacturer and distributed globally. Currently, one cart costs $43 U.S., excluding shipping and other costs. To date, more than $16 million U.S. has been spent on carts, and over 420,000 have been shipped to congregations worldwide.

 To make the best use of donated funds, literature carts are ordered in bulk. Additionally, congregations can now order spare parts and make repairs on the carts instead of replacing them.

Using Carts to Give a Witness

 Publishers around the world enjoy using literature carts. Martina, from Ghana, says: “In most avenues of our ministry, we approach people. What I like about cart witnessing is that people approach us. Even passersby can get a witness.”

 In another African country, a man approached a cart and obtained publications in his language. He came back a week later and said: “I read all the literature. The information is very important. I am going to share it with my family in my village,” which was some 500 kilometers (311 mi) away. Two months later, he returned and said: “The people in my village read all the literature, and they were very happy with the information. They want to become Jehovah’s Witnesses. But they have questions. For example, they understand that to be baptized, they have to be immersed in water. However, we don’t have a river near our village. Do we have to come here to be baptized?” The publishers put this man in contact with a pioneer who speaks his language. Since then, the two have been enjoying regular discussions.

 It is exciting to see literature carts being used to preach “in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations.” (Matthew 24:14) How are the manufacturing costs covered? By donations to the worldwide work, many of which are made via Thank you for your generosity.