Mokena Kindergartner Celebrates Birthday by Giving Back to Army Family
Torree Garcia, who recently graduated from kindergarten at MES, celebrated her birthday over Memorial Day weekend by requesting gifts for family of local soldier Robert Bick. Bick recently deployed to Kuwait, leaving behind an expectant wife and daughter.
As a kindergartner on a birthday, two things typically come to mind: the cake and what flavor it is, and who's bringing the best gift.
That, however, was not the case for Torree Garcia, who recently graduated kindergarten and held her birthday party at Pump It Up over Memorial Day Weekend.
For her birthday, Torree asked her friends and family to help out somebody she had seen just once, Army Spc. Robert Bick. Bick recently deployed to Kuwait for a nine-month tour of duty. Bick's daughter, Hannah, was a first-grader this past year at Mokena Elementary School, where he, his wife Rebecca and their other daughter, Kiera, surprised Hannah with a visit, just days before his deployment.
The visit had such a profound effect on Torree that it spurred the youngster and her family to organize the gift-giving birthday party.
“It just really struck us and touched our hearts,” said Tiffinee Mow-Garcia, Torree's mother. “So, when Torree was planning her birthday, I kind of presented the idea of, instead of having people bring gifts for her, having people donating gifts to the Bick family. … She invited her friends and they brought gifts for the Bick family, who were there.”
During the celebration, friends and family brought all kinds of gifts, Tiffinee said, including gift cards, baby supplies and more.
“We got quite a few things, it really helped,” Mow-Garcia said. “It was a really, really nice thing for Torree to do and for her friends to get an idea of what this was all about.”
For her part, Torree said that helping out the Bicks was better than getting presents for her birthday.
“I would do it again, it was a good thing,” Torree said. “It was nice to help out the Bicks.”