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 foundation's core value is to provide instruments to children who can't afford them. In the last six months, The Foutz Foundation donated two instruments directly to children and are looking to donate more — they just need applicants.
Brian Foutz said they donated a guitar to Circle of Friends and are partnering with St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School to provide music stands and accessories, helping make band more accessible to students. Foutz said Rich Hurdle, a band instructor at St. Francis, told him the department had to turn kids away because they could not afford instruments.
"So that kind of really resonated a lot with me," said Brian Foutz. "I don't want any child that has the yearning to play or to learn music not to have that ability to obtain that."
While the Foutzs are happy to partner with schools and organizations to provide instruments for students to use, free of charge, Genny Foutz said that their main goal is to give instruments directly to children.
"We would really love to be able to support an individual child in learning how to play an instrument," said Genny Foutz. "Just so they can learn what it is to play a music instrument, what they can get from it — I mean, they can get everything from it — and we want to show them that."
Individuals and organizations interested in donating instruments or partnering with the foundation are invited to contact the Foutz's on their website. Most importantly, the foundation is seeking student applicants — teachers and band directors can request an instrument for a student by applying online at foutzfoundation.org. Parents who would like to apply for an instrument should ask the student's band instructor to submit a reference letter or have the instructor apply for them on the website.