Walking for Wells

Mar 26, 2020

While people all over the world continue to hunker down and maintain separation in the privacy of their homes, one man is taking social distancing to the extreme.

Kurt Freudenreich has been planning for over a year to hike the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) beginning at the Mexico-New Mexico border and ending on the Canada-Montana border—the Coronavirus can not stop him. It’s 3,100 miles of the highest, most dramatic, and most challenging wild landscapes left on the planet.1 It has been Kurt’s long-time dream to complete the trail as the first jewel in his triple crown, followed by the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail in years to come. However, Kurt isn’t merely doing this for the glory. In fact, quite the opposite. He is taking on this challenge to raise money to build ten wells through The Sonder Project’s global programs on a mission he calls, “A Man on a Mission—Walking for Wells.”

Kurt and The Sonder Project’s paths converged soon after Hurricane Michael struck the Florida Panhandle in October of 2018. The Sonder Project was leading volunteer workdays to support housing recovery, and Kurt signed up with his Mid-Bay Rotary Club to participate on a Saturday in January 2019.

Kurt and the CEO of The Sonder Project, Chad Zibelman, taking a break while working together to fill the garden beds with soil at The Sonder Project’s Panama City community garden.

Kurt posing with one of the Panama City residents we were helping after Hurricane Michael to clear his yard of fallen trees.

It was destiny. Not only was Kurt a professional arborist, and with his wife Kim, the owner of Arbor Barber Trees, but he also had a long-held goal to install wells in poor communities in the developing world. Together, we joined forces to continue supporting housing recovery in the Panama City, Florida area, and we committed to supporting Kurt’s Walking for Wells campaign to ensure his vision could become a reality.

Kurt working with The Sonder Project to remove a tree that fell on a home during Hurricane Michael.

Kurt first became interested in clean water projects after sponsoring a child in Bangladesh through Compassion Ministries back in 2016. He was saddened to learn of the challenges the young girl and her family experienced, especially compared to the ease that one can access running water in the United States. So he committed to do something about it.

Fortunately, the girl and her family eventually were able to get access to clean water through another organization, but Kurt never forgot his commitment. After connecting with The Sonder Project, Kurt realized it was time to follow through.

Kurt will begin his walk on April 2, 2020 to bring clean water to communities through the Sonder Project. We encourage you to follow along on his mission by subscribing to his YouTube Channel, “Man on a Mission Walking for Wells”. You also can donate to support his efforts by visiting his fundraising page HERE.

Kurt preparing for the big walk on a practice hike with all his gear for the mission on his back.

Recent Stories