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For over 2 years, including multiple expeditions, newspaper articles, and other events, SHe (Singular Humanitarian experience) participants and their friends and families had been asking if there would ever be a similar organization in which married couples and families could become involved. In January 2011, the time was finally right for the formation of FHe (Family Humanitarian experience). Spearheaded by one of the original co-founders and executive directors of SHe, Family Humanitarian experience was co-founded by 7 individuals (3 LDS couples and 1 LDS single in his 40’s), flying in from across the U.S. to the Washington D.C. area where the groundwork for the organization was laid.
All present in the conference felt that their coming together was quite providential. Tyler DeLange (SHe co-founder and Emergency Medicine physician in the Washington D.C. area) had been feeling progressively stronger that a humanitarian organization like SHe needed to be established for LDS families. But with his wedding approaching, it would probably have to wait for some time. He was blindsided by a call from David Shirley and Michaela Shirley, an extremely motivated and dedicated couple from Texas (Dave, a veterinarian and Michaela, with a background in business administration and mother of 5). They had been working their entire married lives toward the goal of one day being able to dedicate their time to humanitarian service, but always assumed that it would be after retirement many years away. They began to feel an urgency, however, that even though they had no idea how it would all work out, they need to start NOW. Overwhelmed by the process, and searching for answers to the questions of how to begin and where to start, they came across an article in the Deseret News about SHe. They promptly contacted Tyler, searching for direction on how to proceed.
Tyler then revealed his vision for the formation of FHe and the Shirley’s were 100 percent on board, eager to start as soon as possible. Amazed by the caliber and dedication of the Shirley’s, Tyler felt the momentum building, and the ball began rolling towards the formation of FHe. He then placed a call to Steven von Niederhausern and Rachel von Niederhausern about joining the team (Steve works as a project manager in the audio visual industry while Rachel has a background in business administration & public relations and is the mother of 4). This ‘salt-of-the-earth’ couple ran their own non-profit in Logan, Utah and Rachel had directed the business development efforts on a prior SHe expedition.
Despite the pressures of raising young families, these two couples made the trek out to Washington D.C. to meet with Tyler and his then fiancé, Sarah (Wright) DeLange, less than a month before Tyler & Sarah’s wedding, to build the groundwork of FHe.
One week prior to the official FHe organizational meeting, Michael Bothe (a successful businessman with significant humanitarian experience) called up in similar style to the Shirley’s, inspired to become more involved in ongoing humanitarian efforts. Michael flew out to D.C. for the inital meeting, offering a unique perspective for singles over 40 in the organization. (Due to heavy career demands, Michael is currently serving in a primarily consulting capacity with FHe. His input and perspective have been invaluable.)
FHe was born that cold but inspiring January weekend, and we’re excited for what we will accomplish in the years to come.
We would love to give everyone the opportunity to use their time, talents and energies to further humanitarian efforts in the world. Contact us to ask how you can help!