What’s Next? The Future of ReelOutreach

It’s been a while since you’ve heard from us, but that doesn’t mean we’ve been sitting (too) idle. Today, we wanted to share a quick update on the future of our little charity and how we’ll need your help to do it. 

Unexpectedly, the world changed for all of us earlier this year. Just a couple weeks ahead of our planned (and organized) event to take kids from Girls Inc. to see Disney’s Mulan, everything shut down. Early on, judging by the way the Pandemic was going, and the science floating around, we made the call to go ahead and cancel all events for 2020.

Ideally, we would have loved to see this pandemic crushed and be able to hold a final, Christmas themed event, but with movie theaters still shut down, there’s no chance. So what comes next?

It’s a question we’ve been wrestling with since March and trying to figure out even as we on the team dealt with our own COVID related issues (kids and virtual school!).

Over the past couple months, we’ve put together more of a plan of how the future of ReelOutreach will look. Our main goal, to give kids in need the chance to enjoy movies, remains the same and unchanged. How we do it, will obviously have to change. To that end, we’re bringing up an original idea we’d talked about soon after we first launched: OUTDOOR EVENTS.

This is something we had toyed with doing originally, or at least as a way to fill the gaps between regular theater screenings. Set up our own screen and projector in a park (or other public place we could rent/occupy) and invite foster families and underprivileged groups to sit and watch with us.

We put in on the back burner for our first couple years as we worked hard to establish ourselves, getting accreditation from the IRS as a non-profit, and using the events to help build funds to acquire the necessary equipment. With the way things stand now, we’ve decided this is probably our BEST option to move forward.

Even as theaters open up, we understand it still might not be the safest for the kids we work with to attend. Outdoor events where we can control seating and the amount of people attending feels like the safest thing, while still delivering on our promise to bring the movies to those who need it most.

Over the next couple weeks, we’ll be kicking off a brand new fundraiser (we also have a really cool Star Wars-themed raffle as well) to secure funding for all the equipment we’ll need to make this next phase of ReelOutreach a reality.

None of the success we’ve seen over the past couple years wouldn’t be possible without the incredible support from you guys. As we move into something different, we hope to continue to see that support as now, more than ever, our youth will need some escapism.