Creating Hope with Every Step

Hiking the North Country National Scenic Trail with Lou Haveman for Worldwide Access to Clean & Safe Water

Lou and Friend, John Apol taking a break from walking the Appalachian Trail in 2005

Hiking in the wilderness is like worship for Lou.  He finds it empowering, inspirational, forgiving, and almost irresistible.  And when the longest North American hiking trail runs only a few miles from his home, he cannot resist the opportunity to hike. 

15078_thumbnail-1024Lou has walked approximately 215 miles of the entire 4,600+ mile North Country National Scenic Trail. His goal is to hike 500 miles a year over the next eight years to complete the entire trail.  The larger vision is to leverage this experience of taking something as ordinary as walking into a blessing of extraordinary proportions.

Throughout his career with World Renew, Partners Worldwide, Sawyer Intl., and now, Business Connect, he has been exposed to the face of extreme poverty too many times to mention and came to ask the question,


“What if?”

What if I could raise a minimum of one million dollars for clean and safe water – a basic necessity everyone should have access to in the global south — and reach over 50,000 households?  

This means a quarter of a million people in the developing world would no longer have stomach aches, diarrhea, illness, and even death. What if he could find people who would come along side and make that happen?

We are inviting family, friends, clubs, businesses and organizations to support the hike through a flat out donation, a dollar per mile, or other contribution based on the hike. OR, actively engage your Rotary Club, youth group or employee-driven fundraiser and JOIN US ON THE TRAIL to step out for a purpose. Come for a few hours or a few days — you decide the length of your journey!

Donate Now To Help Lou


We are seeking Champions to step forward; to hold Lou accountable, who will support, contribute, and encourage him. We want people who believe in what we are attempting to do in the world and want to be a part of it to join with us and commit to walking while walking alongside those in need. One hundred percent of all funds raised will go toward the purchase and delivery of water filters for clean and safe water to the most vulnerable…the widows and orphans around the world.  

Why Should You Help?

Nearly 1 in 10 people worldwide, or twice the population of the United States, live without access to clean water. The majority live in isolated rural areas and spend hours every day walking to collect water for their family. Not only does walking for water keep kids out of school or take up time that parents could be using to earn money, but the water often carries diseases that can make everyone sick.

    • Health:  Diseases from dirty water kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.
    • Time:  In Africa alone, women spend 40 billion hours a year walking for water.
    • Women Empowerment:  Women and girls are responsible for 72% of the water collected in Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Education:  Clean water helps keep kids in school, especially girls.

Access to clean water gives communities more time to grow food, earn an income, and go to school — all of which fight poverty. Join us!

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Sponsorship Opportunities

Will you be one in a million and join us on the trail for a few hours, a few days or a week? If you can’t join us physically, start an online fundraiser or make a tax-deductible donation. Here are ways you can help:

  • Make an Annual Gift
  • Make a One-time Donation
  • Donate $1 a Mile or More
  • Create a Special Challenge for Lou
  • Create an Employee-driven Team
  • Get Local Rotary Clubs Involved
  • Follow Along, Share our Blog and our Progress on Social Media!
Should you desire to give a gift to Business Connect or would like to give in the name of someone, we will give you a report on how your gift was used. Please download the brochure to share with others.

Since we are a low-profit business we cannot give you a tax deductible receipt. However, we partner with Partners Worldwide, a 501c3 registered charity, who can give you that tax deductible receipt.


Here are the options:

Non Tax Deductible
  • Make out your check to Business Connect; post to 3888 16th Avenue, Grandville, MI. 49418
  • Give directly on our website at:
Tax Deductible Receipt
  • Make out your check to Partners Worldwide; post to 6139 Tahoe, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. They will provide you a receipt at the end of year. Please note on your check: Clean and Safe Water.
  • Give directly on our partner website and be sure to go under Regional Funds and select Business Connect as their Partner.

From the Business Connect Team: Jereme, Jan, Jeff, Natalie, Paul, and Lou

Read more about our trips to the global south on our blog.

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