Faces of the Fort: Jeff Bredemeier
Jeff Bredemeier went on his first mission trip to Haiti with Impact for Jesus in November, 2013. His wife, Andrea, was on her second trip to the impoverished nation. Their destination was the rural villages in the western mountains of the country to deliver water filtration systems to areas with little to no access to fresh water.
On the flight, Jeff was reading a book about an ultramarathoner who ran his races for charity. He was inspired and decided to create a charity for Haiti based around his triathlons. Throughout the trip, he pinpointed exactly what was going to happen for his charity and what the money would be raised for.
“The biggest thing in Haiti is that 90% of the Haitians don’t have clean drinking water or source of running water and 80% of them lack proper sanitation,” Jeff said. “In those villages in that area of Haiti, animal and human waste is all getting dumped in their systems, which leads to sicknesses and death.
“One out of eight children don’t even reach the age of five due to cholera and unclean drinking water.”
Jeff was already wanting to do an Ironman triathlon, which is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 bike, and a full 26.2 mile marathon, but he wanted a purpose behind it.
While in Haiti, Jeff and Andrea helped distribute more than 400 filtration systems.
“In some villages, the kids have to walk 30-45 minutes to get to some sort of water source,” Jeff said. “With education, we can teach them how to create cisterns and water collection areas.
“I was actually able to go down there and carry up a bucket of water (like they have to). It was really humbling because I’m carrying a five-gallon bucket, with difficulty, and they’re carrying it on their head, barefoot, up rocky hills.”
The filtration bucket systems cost about $65 and have a lifetime of 10 years or almost 1 million gallons of water. The system is similar to the filters used in kidney dialysis (.1 microns).
Now, nine months later, Jeff is training to compete in the August 23 Ironman in Louisville, Kentucky.
His charity, Tri 4 Haiti, is working with Impact for Jesus to once again distribute water filtration systems in the rural villages that do not have access to clean drinking water.
Donations are accepted through THIS PAGE and are processed by Impact for Jesus, the charity that sponsored Jeff and Andrea’s original trip.