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Boyd starts foundation to end child trafficking

MLB.com @beckjason

TORONTO -- Matthew Boyd took the mound at Rogers Centre on Saturday afternoon looking to help the Tigers out of their 10-game losing streak. Meanwhile, he and his wife Ashley have been trying to provide much more important help on the other side of the world.

They hope that by helping open a children's home in Uganda and starting a charitable foundation, they can help address a problem that has gone underpublicized on this side of the world.

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TORONTO -- Matthew Boyd took the mound at Rogers Centre on Saturday afternoon looking to help the Tigers out of their 10-game losing streak. Meanwhile, he and his wife Ashley have been trying to provide much more important help on the other side of the world.

They hope that by helping open a children's home in Uganda and starting a charitable foundation, they can help address a problem that has gone underpublicized on this side of the world.

View Full Game Coverage

"We have 35 girls in a home right now in Uganda ages 8-14 that have been rescued either from prostitution rings, a brothel, forced child marriages, unfortunate things," Boyd said Friday. "Right now we're going through the 501(c) process of getting our application approved in the state of Michigan and Washington so we can start fundraising, getting the word out there for this."

Boyd and his wife have been looking for a way to use their position to make a difference off the field. Ashley earned her degree in political science from Oregon State, and has worked with a nonprofit called Remember Nhu, which aims to prevent child trafficking and sex slavery through grassroots work around the world. They have 85 prevention homes in 15 countries on four continents, but saw a need for a home in Uganda.

The Boyds, especially after becoming parents last year, felt this was a calling for them. They traveled to Thailand together a few years ago and met a child they've sponsored.

"You get face to face and you realize: How can anyone hurt a child? How can anyone do anything so horrific to a child? It's unbearable to think about," Boyd said. "Being a father, I can't quantify it, knowing that there's people out there that need help."

The home they've set up provides a bed, food and education, Boyd said.

"Hopefully we can provide for further education, college over there," Boyd said. "We never want to age out a child. That's our goal."

Boyd said he and his wife plan to travel to Uganda this fall once the season ends. While Ashley went to Africa as part of her work with Remember Nhu, Matthew has never been to the continent.

"We're feeling called to serve in this way right now, and it's pretty cool," he said.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers, Matthew Boyd