'The need is there': Boyds working to build more houses for at-risk children in Uganda

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Detroit – When Matthew and Ashley Boyd opened Kingdom Home in Uganda, it initially provided housing, refuge and hope for 36 children who were victims or at risk of being victims of the child sex trade.

Today, nearly a year later, the number of children in their care has grown to 90 and the Boyds, through their Kingdom Home non-profit organization, are trying to raise funds to build at least two more houses.

Matthew Boyd and his wife Ashley have raised $100,000 for the land and additional houses, and they need to raise another $150,000.

“The need is there,” said Boyd, the Tigers ace who will pitch against the Athletics on Saturday. “But the focus is, those who don’t have a family now do. They have brothers and sisters and house mothers and house fathers and they are living as children should.

“It’s really exciting to know that through the help of everybody who has linked arms with Kingdom Home from all over the world, these children can do whatever they want because they grew up in a safe place.”

The organization has scouted land and locations in Uganda where they can build more houses. Already a well and a farm have been donated.

“The piece of land we are looking at can hold up to six houses,” said Ashley Boyd, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child and handles most of the day-to-day operation of Kingdom Home. “And each home can hold 30 to 50 children.

“From the get-go, we had a vision of being able to build more houses and help more children. We just didn’t expect it to happen this fast. God just provided abundantly.”

They have already raised $100,000 toward the land and the additional houses. They need to raise another $150,000 to make it happen. And toward that end, the Boyds, with the help of Big League Impact, are holding their second fundraiser, this one at 6:30 p.m. Monday at TopGolf in Auburn Hills.

“Tickets are still available and it’s open to the public,” Matthew Boyd said. “Just about the whole team is showing up. People will have the opportunity to compete against and hit golf balls with the Tigers. There will be a big-leaguer at every bay.

“There’s awesome prizes and awesome silent auction gifts. And it all goes toward a great cause – working to end the child sex trade through prevention.”

Boyd said Niko Goodrum, Nick Castellanos, Brandon Dixon and Buck Farmer are the long-ball threats, but, in terms of throwing darts at the green, don’t sleep on Blaine Hardy.

“I can't even put into words how much help we’ve gotten from our teammates,” Boyd said. “It’s just so special. There are five guys on the team who have fully sponsored a child and there’s also been guys who have anonymously donated and really helped get us toward our goals of buying land and building these homes.

“It’s really cool how they’ve gotten behind it and how they have a heart for this issue, as well.”

The Boyds hosted a similar fundraiser in Tampa in March and raised $40,000 and sponsorships for 20 children.

For tickets and sponsorship packages visit bigleagueimpact.org/events/topgolf-detroit, or to make a donation, go to kingdomhome.org.

“Everything people give goes toward the home and the children,” Ashley said. “The issue of sex trafficking can seem daunting, and it is. But people don’t realize, anyone can make a difference.”

Twitter @cmccosky