Amin Aaser tells a story about growing up in Maple Grove.

When he was 12, he played baseball. He loved the game, but when his mom showed up to cheer him on from the stands, his friends would tease him about her hijab.

"As a kid, I didn't know what to do. So I would tell my mom to pick me up 15 minutes after my baseball games were finished because I didn't want anyone to see my mom. I didn't want anyone to know that I was a Muslim," he said.

Years later, when he became an uncle, he realized he didn't want his niece to feel the way he once did.

"I thought, 'Well, how is this little girl going to grow up and be confident in her own skin? How is she going to be proud of who she is and part of the faith that's in her heart?' " Aaser said.

Now the father of two, Aaser has left a corporate career to found Noor Kids — a social enterprise that aims to give Muslim children a sense of pride in their religious identity and help them learn about core values in a fun way.

What began as a subscription series of character-building books featuring four anthropomorphic characters in a city called Maple Grove has grown to include videos and other online components like classes.

To make it all happen, Aaser has built a video studio in a Brooklyn Park warehouse decorated to look like a treehouse, complete with a library and story nook.

This spring, to help Muslim families give their kids a memorable Ramadan, he is running a free digital Noor Kids "Ramadan Camp" through the holiday. Each night, Aaser hosts a story time livestreamed from the treehouse, featuring special guests (like college basketball star Kiandra Browne) and sharing interactive DIY activities.

On a recent evening, he was howling like a wolf in front of the cameras as he told a story about being in the wilderness without a map.

His own experience has taught him that for parents who are fasting all day during Ramadan, it isn't easy to find the time and energy to give their kids meaningful holiday experiences.

"We thought to ourselves, 'Hey, what if we help solve that problem, and serve as a helping hand to families to help make the month of Ramadan, fun, spiritually engaging and filled with community for these kids?' " he said.

Already, parents are posting thanks — from New York, North Carolina, Delaware, Italy, Germany, Pakistan and beyond — on Noor Kids' Instagram account.

"My six-year-old son watched your storytelling like he is lost in it," posted the mother of three "Ramadan campers" in England. "Mashallah, I never thought we would have such a platform for our young generation."

Aaser divided the camp's four weeks into different themes — first tackling the topic of fasting during Ramadan, and how it can be a key to unlock "self-control, empathy and gratitude." Week 2 was all about finding strength in belief, while Week 3 is set to focus on generosity, Week 4 on prayer.

More than 80,000 families from around the world have signed up to follow along and be a part of Ramadan Camp this year, with about 3,000 families joining live every night, Aaser said. When he thinks about it, the numbers are almost overwhelming.

"Among Muslims, there is no mosque in North America that can hold 12,000 people," he said. "What's remarkable is from this little treehouse in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, we are creating a community that is almost the size of some of the communities in Mecca and Medina, the holiest places in Islam."

For Aaser and his wife, Sana, who oversees Noor Kids' illustrations, these weeks can be an exhausting endeavor, he admits. But it feels more than worth it.

"When I think about the opportunity we have, to not just have fun but to plant the seeds of character and citizenship in the hearts of these little kids, and to build this global community where kids from all around the world of different shapes, colors and sizes are seeing each other and interacting with one another — I will take being exhausted to make that happen," he said. "I will pay that price."