WTOP Top Kid: Damascus girl delivers care packages for NICU families

Kylee Colbert collects and distributes gifts for the families of babies in the NICU. (Courtesy Colbert family)

The coronavirus pandemic has been tough on everyone, but a 10-year-old girl from Damascus, Maryland, is helping ease the strain for some of the most vulnerable.

Kylee Colbert created a nonprofit charity called K.I.C. Kares that collects and distributes care packages to families with babies in the newborn intensive care unit.

Colbert told WTOP’s Melissa Howell that the first round of deliveries was about two months ago.

“We gave it to the person in charge of the NICU. And the bags were quarantined for two weeks, and then they were delivered to the families,” Colbert said.

She estimated that about 30 bags have been delivered so far.

“We normally deliver like 15 or 16 bags for each round,” she said.

An example of Kylee Colbert’s care packages. (Courtesy the Colbert family)

“They have hygiene items and stuff in them, obviously not for the baby, for the parents, because while the parents are there trying to take care of their sweet little baby, they are probably forgetting about themselves,” she said.

“So the care packages are mainly for the parents and maybe even the siblings, if it’s a sibling that’s also helping out.”

There are books and entertainment items, like crossword puzzles, plus snack boxes for the nurses in the NICU that the hospital divvies out to staff.

Colbert said she came up with the idea for a charity after visiting her grandparents in Miami and volunteering with former NBA player Ricky Davis’ organization, where she put together care packages for the homeless.

“He told me that I should start my own charity,” Colbert said, noting that she was inspired by her mom and a love for babies. “So I combined the two of them and ended up with a really awesome charity.”

Colbert said there have been “a lot of hugs” from the people who get her care packages.

Kylee with one of her signs. (Courtesy the Colbert family)

“It makes me feel really good. And I’m pretty sure that all the people that donate to me feel basically the same way when they donate, because they know that they’re donating something for a really good cause that’s going to end up into the arms of a family that really needs it,” she said.

Colbert has four younger siblings and hopes in time that they can be a part of the charity too, or take it over.

“Especially my youngest brother. He is a newborn now, he’s 10 years younger than me, so he can take over easily,” she said.

According to Colbert, it’s the small things and small kindnesses that combine and build up to create something huge.

“‘Alone, we can do so little. But together, we can do so much,'” Colbert said, quoting Helen Keller.

“And I really hope that inspires more people to know that just being kind, it’s not just making yourself feel good — although it does do that. It’s making other people feel good and inspiring them to do similar things.”

Get more information at Colbert’s K.I.C. Kares website.

WTOP’s Melissa Howell contributed to this report.

This article is part of WTOP’s TOP Kids program, where kids in the D.C. area are recognized for the amazing things they do. The winners are awarded $500. The program is sponsored by Northwest Federal Credit Union. Nominate a TOP Kid you know here.

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Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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