Care packages have traditionally been a way for family members to stay connected to their children once they move out for college. However, the coronavirus pandemic has affected logistics, supplies, businesses, and transportation. To make matters worse, this holiday season many students are forced to spend their break away from family due to the pandemic.
Isolated from their loved ones and unable to enjoy the comfort of a care package from home, it looked like it was going to be a somber winter break for these students. However, the work of two brothers from Clarkson University is helping these students connect.
Dylan Practico, a 21-year-old innovation and entrepreneurship major, along with his older brother, Brandon Practico, a 24-year-old business major, have seized the opportunity to create a little holiday cheer.
They have started a business that allows families to remotely put together and send care packages. Customers can email the brothers’ new venture, stating the items that they need purchased, and conduct the entire transaction online.
Remote Care Packages
“We deliver packages for any occasion, such as birthdays, sick days, thinking-of-you, and holidays like Easter and Halloween,” Dylan explained. “Customers are able to contact us through email, and we provide them with options for purchase. They then send us the information and payment all online, and we deliver the care package on the desired date.”
Their business answers problems related to the availability of stocks, transportation, delivery time, and safety. Beyond that, Dylan shared that he finds meaning in what he does because of its significance for other students and their families.
“Being able to surprise students with a birthday cake, some of their favorite candy and a handwritten card with a message from home makes me feel like I am making a difference,” he said.
The Origin of College Care
College Care was first conceived in Dylan’s freshman year when he was asked by his professor to conceptualize and set up a business in one of his classes. At the time, Dylan was working with three other people.
As a sophomore, he focused on identifying a target market and looking for ways to access it. Dylan shared that while they were able to sell some care packages, it was not as many as desired.
Dylan hit the jackpot when he discovered the Facebook page for the Clarkson University Parent and Family Association. He started asking customers to leave reviews of the business on the page where other members of the group could see.
“Now in our third year, we have customers recommending us independently when they hear of families who want to do something to lift their students’ spirits,” Dylan said.
Brandon revealed his hopes to expand the service to neighboring colleges, such as SUNY Potsdam, in the future.
“Working with my brother makes it easier for both of us to express our opinions. We’ve been able to share and build off of each other’s ideas, which has been a great experience,” he said.