Tashmica “Firecracker” Torok
Founder & Executive Director

Firecracker head shot(she, her, hers)

Tashmica Torok is a nationally recognized survivor activist working to end child sexual abuse. She is a powerhouse fundraiser and movement maker who has raised thousands of dollars and countless volunteer hours in support of her work.

Tashmica is the co-chair of the Capital Area Sexual Assault Response Team. Through her leadership, the foundation is spearheading trauma-sensitive yoga in the Lansing area and is providing services to the Lansing School District, Child & Family Service’s Angel House, Community Mental Health and to youth and families in the community. The growth of this innovative organization has inspired a move into a larger space where all programs – mental health therapy, trauma sensitive yoga, and pediatric medical advocay– will be hosted under the same roof.

Tashmica has been awarded the Michigan Jaycees Foundation’s Outstanding Young Michigander Award in 2014, USA Network’s 2015 Characters Unite Award, the 2016 Emerging Leader Award from Sistrum: the Lansing Women’s Chorus, and Child Advocate of the Year 2017 by the Lansing Exchange Club.

Her biggest thrill continues to be accomplishing her heart work at The Firecracker Foundation with healing children, teens and families. As the executive director of The Firecracker Foundation, she incites riots of generosity and advocates for the healing of children and families every day. Tashmica is the kind of friend who always encourages you to do more. She’s a published storyteller and a nearly retired roller derby skater. She’s also the mother of three boys, wife to a talented tile installer and a behind-the-scenes volunteer.


Mandy Charping
Program Coordinator

Mandy Charping

(she, her, they, theirs)

I’m a lifelong mid-Michigander with a variety of experience with a common thread of helping people thrive in whatever situations they find themselves. Much of my past work encouraged the growth and development of children and communities though recreational programs, child respite care, service learning, and nonprofit collaboration. Combine that with more recent experience in crisis intervention and support for individuals experiencing trauma, and therein lies my advocacy platform. The strength of individuals facing sexual trauma fuels my passion for building partnerships that will connect them with invaluable community resources that address the aftermath of such trauma and encourage healing. I’m grateful to be part of an advocacy community that thinks more creatively, more holistically, and more intentionally about how to best support children who have experienced sexual trauma.
Everyone reacts to trauma in different ways. For me, advocacy is about providing children and families with an individualized substrate for the quality, consistent care they will receive from our community partners on their path to healing. A child who survives sexual trauma deserves the support of our entire community as they begin to heal and lead a healthy life into adulthood. I believe that children and families have the right to quality and consistent healing services. I believe in the power of communities to create lasting change.

When I’m not working alongside the freedom fighters and world changers of my community, I’m pretending it’s still the 90’s with my lovely wife—rollerblading, playing Pokemon, and listening to Ace of Base. Together, we’ve rescued two rambunctious dogs, Lady and Bean, who keep us on our toes and bring so much life, love, and hair to our family.

It is an honor to contribute to The Firecracker Foundation’s work to support resiliency and well-being in all stages of development into adulthood, and I look forward to continuing to contribute to this growing, powerful organization.


Carolyn Abide
Bookkeeper/Office Manger
Woman sitting on the ground wearing glasses, smiling and holding a baby goat in the sunshine outside.

(she, her, hers)

As someone who has spent over a decade working with many different sensitive and vulnerable populations, I have seen the myriad of ways that trauma can drastically alter the course of a life. I have also had the privilege of seeing first-hand the light we can bring into our community when we act with love and listening compassion. I first heard of The Firecracker Foundation at yoga and was instantly interested in learning more. Having walked with dear friends and loved ones through the pain of sexual abuse and trauma, I am so excited to be a part of an organization that is working to honor and support the incredible strength of these survivors.

I am a lucky momma of a vibrant and strong-willed 5-year-old, who keeps me on my toes and at the top of my game and the partner to a kind and hard-working man. My husband and I recently made every middle school girl’s dream come true by buying a farm with my best friend and her family. We are having a blast raising our combined three children, 6 goats, and ever growing flock of chickens and ducks while navigating the joys and difficulties of living in close community with each other. We have just started training our goats to work as therapy animals and have been reveling in the resulting cuteness and peoples’ response to these beautiful and engaging creatures. Our friendship with The Firecracker Foundation has inspired us to move towards becoming more therapy-oriented as a farm and we are so excited to see where this path leads.

I am honored to be able to do the behind the scenes work that enables healing and hope to flourish.