April 12, 2018
By Michelle Criqui
Eight-year-old Tiian is an avid dancer and gymnast who loves to learn new skills. Since she was two years old, Tiian has taken classes in jazz, ballet and tap, and began taking part in competitions at age five. Now, Tiian competes in the XCEL Gymnastics program at a grade seven level, and has won All-Around in every meet this year.
Tiian knows how important gymnastics is to her. So when it came time to celebrate her eighth — and “Golden” — birthday, Tiian and her family decided that, in lieu of gifts, they would collect donations to Our Military Kids so that other kids might get a chance to experience gymnastics as well.
“We went looking for a charitable organization and could not have been more pleased to find your website and to discover your mission is so reflective of the parts of life that are so loved by our daughter,” Tisa said.
At her birthday party, Tiian’s friends donated $125 toward grants that will pay for an activity like gymnastics or baseball for military children when their parent is deployed or recovering from injuries. Some of her friends donated online as well.
“Our daughter is at an age where she can appreciate the costs of gymnastics,” Tisa said. Tisa went on to explain that she wants Tiian to understand the importance of giving back at a young age, so that it stays with her as she gets older.
These donations might also directly benefit military children in Tiian’s home state of Minnesota, as the 347th Regional Support Group with the Minnesota National Guard deploys several units to serve overseas throughout 2018. This year alone, Our Military Kids has given out 16 grants to Minnesotan military children.
“May this be a small token of gratitude,” Tisa said. “For all you do to lift up children and to give them amazing opportunities.”
Angela Burton, Executive Director of Our Military Kids, said Tiian’s efforts on behalf of military kids are incredibly generous.
“We are so honored that Tiian and her family reached out to Our Military Kids,” Burton said. “She knows how important gymnastics are in her life and she wanted to share that with another child. What an amazing gift she has given.”