Our foundation unknowingly began with an invitation to a party. However, this was no ordinary summer get-together. It was centered around a 12 year old orphaned child from Latvia. Dan and Beth Spransy had been invited to the party by a good friend, Michelle, who was hosting Erika for a short time in hopes of getting her adopted. From their first glance at the photo and description of Erika, they knew their hearts were being tugged towards this sweet young girl. Once they met her, the tug became an irresistible pull and they knew something special was happening to their family...it was about to get bigger. Already with 5 wonderful children, it was apparent to them there was still room for more and they immediately began looking at adoption.
As they learned more, the troublesome reality of orphaned children weighed heavy upon their hearts. In countries like Latvia or Ukraine, orphanages release children at the age of 16, and the thought of Erika and others like her being on their own at such a young age was greatly disturbing. Not only did they wish to welcome Erika into their loving family, but there was a deep desire to do as much as possible to help every child who faced this impending fate. From this, Before 16 was born. Dan instantly began working to help hosts like Michelle, who have such big hearts, and sought to lighten the financial burden of getting children here to meet potential families. This also came with a pursuit to build awareness of the orphan crisis that exists around the globe.
We then created a partnership with a nonprofit called Project 143, which specializes in connecting host families with orphaned children in Eastern Europe. Currently, we are helping to host 9 children over holiday season in the Madison area. In the summer, we hope to grow that number. Ultimately, we feel the urgent call to care for these children and make a difference in as many families as we can.