A new nonprofit in Sisters is working to connect underprivileged children with the world of music by providing them with musical instruments.
The Foutz Foundation is a labor of love founded by husband and wife team Brian and Genny Foutz. Following the death of his brother Travis Foutz in May 2017, Brian Foutz created the nonprofit to honor his brother's legacy. Before his death, Travis was training to become a music teacher at Central Oregon Community College. The Foutzs, who feel music plays an important role in children's lives, don't want the cost of an instrument to deter kids from joining band or orchestra.
"Music is such a powerful tool," says Brian Foutz. "We want it to be readily available to everybody."
The foundation, launched last year, provides instruments to children in kindergarten through grade 12. In the future, the Foutzs intend to give grants to kids to purchase an instrument of their choice, but this year they have a handful of donated instruments to give away.
The foundation hasn't received any applications for the 2018-19 school year yet, but the Foutzs hope that will change after reaching out to local school districts and organizations to spread the word.
"I'd really love to give at least one child an instrument this year, that's our goal," says Genny Foutz. "To see how happy they are to finally get something that maybe they couldn't afford before—that's going to be the greatest thing ever."
Parents of K-12 students are encouraged to visit foutzfoundation.org to see what instruments are currently available and to apply. Other than being in school, the only other requirement is a reference from a band teacher. Band instructors are also encouraged to apply on behalf of students in need of an instrument.
Interested in donating funds or instruments? Call 541-549-6063 or make a monetary donation online at foutzfoundation.org.