Detroit — There was a spark experienced early in their lives, at differing times, one that followed them to Oregon State, and then to Detroit and Comerica Park.
It was a desire to help the most vulnerable of children, in this case girls from Uganda who were subjected to the global evil known as sex trafficking.
Matthew and Ashley Boyd have channeled their passion and $100,000 of their own money into a non-profit effort: Kingdom Home, where 36 "of our children" now reside, and where the Boyds will be visiting in November as they seek to broaden their presence and support, including hunting for land that might allow more homes and a sustainable farm.
"Thinking of a child being taken away is horrifying, it's unbelievable," Matthew Boyd said Tuesday as he appeared with Ashley at a Comerica Park press conference hours before the Tigers and Twins were to meet.
"We want to let children have a childhood. We want to keep 'em safe and keep their purity, and let them be kids more than anything.
"Something has to be done. Hopefully, this will grow and inspire others to join in."
Ashley Boyd was studying political science and sociology at Oregon State and intended to become a lawyer committed to social-justice causes. She met Matt, who then was pitching at Oregon State, and they later married.
Ashley was working for a charitable group, aimed at assisting young women, when maternity last year necessitated an exit — but not from her and her husband's commitment.
They formed the Matthew and Ashley Boyd Nonprofit entity and then became acquainted with a Ugandan couple which was beginning a refuge for children rescued from prostitution and the slavery of sex captivity.
The Boyds became aware of the effort, and its then-acute financial needs, and got going with an effort they hope to expand.
"The whole mission can sound scary and daunting, and larger than one person," Ashley Boyd said. "But these are real girls, with real hearts."
Boyd's teammates already are helping.
James McCann, Nick Castellanos, and Shane Greene already are on board with cash support
The Boyds have a daughter born in 2017.
"We have 37 children," Matthew said Tuesday. "Our American girl and 36 children in Uganda."
The Boyds are partnering with a Detroit charity, Alternatives for Girls, which helps care for homeless and high-risk girls and young women.
For additional information, contact kingdomhome.org.