BILLINGS — A 13-year-old Billings middle school student raised about $3,600 from her nail painting business to buy Christmas gifts for those less fortunate and donated some of those gifts to the St. Vincent Healthcare's neonatal intensive care unit Monday.
“It’s very fulfilling to know that I’m making a difference in people's lives. Kids that might not have been able to have a good Christmas can now have a good Christmas because it’s one of my favorite holidays,” said Karlee Albertson, owner of Karlee's Nail Painting for a Cause.
Albertson has been raising money to buy Christmas presents for those in need for the past seven years.
This Christmas season, she raised money to buy gifts for three different groups. Albertson adopted a family with the Big J Show's Santa Clause for a Cause program. She also donated toys Cody's Crusade, a cause that delivers toys on Christmas day to kids stuck at St. V's. And she donated 70 books, a stroller and a rocker to the St. V's neonatal unit.
“You don’t know how much of a change you can be until you actually go out there and try. It’s crazy what you can get other people to do if you inspire them to do it," Albertson said.
Albertson spent 40 days in the St. V's neonatal intensive care unit after she was first born. Some of the same nurses that helped her were there to see the donation.
A special holiday moment for the Billings teen.
“I have a picture of me hanging in the NICU from when I was like five days old and I was already smiling. One of the nurses said if there's a mom that’s sad, she shows them that picture and says ‘this little girl was five days old and she was happy.’ So, that’s pretty cool," Albertson said.
Keep an eye on Karlee's Facebook page for updates on what she's planning to do next year. If you would like to help, she said she usually sets up a Go Fund Me page in the fall to collect donations.