My name is Joshua Robbins, the founder of Outreach22 located in Willow, Alaska. Outreach22 began in July 2021 as a project to bring hope and emotional support to Veterans with mental health struggles. The number 22 in Outreach22 stands for the number of Veterans who commit suicide a day. I’ve personally served alongside soldiers who’ve returned home and lost the battle to suicide. With the use of my dog team, my goal is to uplift Veterans in need of comfort.
As a Veteran myself, I empathize with those who feel impacted by their time in the service. I served from 2003 – 2014 as an infantryman. My military career includes serving multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as a sniper squad leader and a long-range marksman instructor. I was feeling good for a while, until, I wasn’t feeling good at all. In fact, I hit rock bottom. My mind was not in a good place from experiencing war and I made the decision to get help. In 2013 I went to a treatment facility where they helped me to better understand my thoughts, emotions, and practice healthy coping mechanisms. After 11 weeks of therapy I was released and ready to transition from war to civilian life. Asking for help was the hardest decision I ever made, but I’m thankful I did and appreciate the resources that were available to help me feel like myself again. Each day I’m reminded to count my blessings and don’t take anything for granted. Today, I feel like a testament for those who are in a dark place looking for the light. Outreach22 strives to give hope and inspire people to never give up. Life can always get better.
At Outreach22, we offer a team of strong and energetic sled dogs. Each has been carefully bred and trained for smooth, enjoyable rides. Our team includes 22 Alaskan Huskies. Whether you're a seasoned musher or trying dog sledding for the first time, our dogs are ready for an unforgettable journey.
In addition, the rides help cover the cost of dog care, food, equipment, and race fees. As an added element to the rides, Outreach22 recently purchased two reindeer in September 2022. So now, guests can handfeed reindeer as a part of their Alaskan experience. Studies show, animals can have a positive impact on mental health, so our goal is to provide an environment that is considered a therapeutic retreat.Schedule a ride today