It seems too simple; the little eight-ounce plastic bags with a filter and a back-flushing syringe will bring safe and clean water to a family for several years. Here is the rest of the story…at least a small portion of it.
Last week, two of us rented a 26-foot flatbed diesel truck and drove to Wisconsin from Grand Rapids, Michigan, a distance of 360 miles one way. We went to pick up a 60-foot motorized conveyor system. Currently, our assembly of water filter kits takes place in the lower level of a commercial building with a loading dock that is a good 15 feet higher on the main floor.
This is the building we purchased last summer knowing that our current filter kit assembly location, Mars Hill Bible Church, could no longer be used long term. Our collaboration with 20 Liters was also going to change. It was no longer feasible to keep inventory in a church warehouse, two garages and a basement.
When we bought it, the building consisted of an upstairs apartment, a furnished restaurant, 5,000 plus square feet of potential office space, and a basement level with seven, small sound-proof rooms and enough room to have a small basketball court. We were told the building had quite a history, being used for community gatherings of all types. Prior to our purchase, it had just been vacated by the city after discovering more than 50 residences.
Six months later we are close to completing a huge renovation, after basically gutting the interior. Now Jereme our CEO, and his wife Natalie, have converted the apartment into a plush flat roof garden apartment. The empty restaurant is a thriving Mexican center for catered food and a convenient meeting place. We have seven offices and desk workspace for rent. Most importantly, we have our needed office and inventory space for Business Connect, our non-profit, Connect for Water, a tiny real estate desk for Home Connect Real Estate, and a volunteer space for manufacturing Village Water Filters. This spring a sign will go up in the front indicating that this is the CONNECT building.
We connect resources with needs, donors with recipients, and investors with beneficiaries. The conveyor is just one more of the many connections.
Lou Haveman, for the Business Connect Team