Brett Andry lives in Eugene, Oregon and he first joined Outreach360 on a volunteer trip to Monte Cristi, the Dominican Republic in 2018. His experience inspired him to continue to support our students from home by becoming a Touch the Future Sponsor.
How did you first get involved with Outreach360?
My relationship with Outreach360 started in 2018 as a part of a coordinated service project through EF Tours. We spent a week down in Monte Cristi in the Dominican Republican working with Outreach 360 at a local school where we taught English to the students as part of their summer educational programs.
What eye-opening moment sticks out to you most when you think back to your time in-country?
One of the most eye-opening moments of our trip was when we sat down on the first day and met Caleb, who was a student of the Outreach360 program and is now a university student. He comes back to the school to teach and mentor younger students and help them overcome the obstacles that he faced as a student. It was incredibly inspiring to see that type of service-minded attitude and proved to me that Outreach360 is making real and tangible change within Monte Cristi.
What motivates you to continue your support?
There are several things that motivate me to continue my monthly support, but most notably, I would say the regular mailing updates that I receive from Outreach360 help keep the importance of my support real and relevant! Getting to see pictures and reading stories of updated grassroots work really helps keep my motivation current each month!
How has Outreach360 impacted your life?
Outreach360 continues to provide a fresh perspective on what the world looks like outside of the United States. One of the most profound observations that I had was how excited students in the Dominican Republic were to go to school, which certainly is not the attitude of the students in the United States. The DR experience reminded me that education is truly a gift for the majority of students around the world and we all have a responsibility to help education become a reality for all students around the world, regardless of where they live or how much money they make.
How has the feeling of being part of the Outreach360 community stayed with you?
I was just having this conversation a few weeks ago with a few friends of mine. Since returning to the United States, I have found myself finding different ways to give back to underprivileged populations. I have traveled to Nicaragua and spent a week there working with local community members to help build a cafeteria and classroom at a local school. I am also currently scheduling a service trip to Thailand in 2021 with a group of students to go work on an elephant sanctuary. I can thank Outreach360 for activating that sense of philanthropy in me, as that feeling has stayed with me since our trip to the DR.
How is Outreach360 unique from other non-profit organizations you do/could support?
One of the things that I noticed almost immediately about Outreach360 was the fact that they truly base all of their decisions on what is best for the students that they serve, and not special interest groups. The program that they have created is set up to provide the services that the people of Monte Cristi actually need, versus the services that they think the people of Monte Cristi need. I know that my monthly contribution is truly helping the kids and that is why I continue to be a monthly donor!
What would you say to someone considering supporting Outreach360 in this way?
If you are even slightly thinking about financially supporting Outreach360, I would say "Go for it!" I would suggest that you first do a little research on the organization and read about all of the amazing projects that they are continually involved in. Once you read a little bit about the impact that Outreach360 is making, you will have no qualms about sending a small monthly donation to help them out!
What message would you like to share with our students?
To the wonderful students of Outreach360, please know that there are people, both at home and abroad, that believe in you and love you unconditionally. No matter what background you have, where you come from, or what socioeconomic group you come from, we are here for you and will continue to support you in any way that we can as you keep working towards your educational and life goals!
Donate today and continue the incredible work that Brett and his team started! Give at donate.outreach360.org/community.