Martin Echtler grew up in Bernbeuren, Germany, a village in rural Bavaria near the Austrian border. He currently resides in Munich, Germany. He will be serving for six months in Kansas City at St. James Place living in community at Gaspar Mission House. He has received a Master of Science and a Bachelor of Science in human resource education & management along with Catholic theology studies from Ludwig-Maximillians University in Munich. He also has degrees in business management. Martin worked for several years in the banking industry in Germany before returning to school.
- Why do you want to volunteer?
“During my time as a bank clerk in the Savings Bank, I was involved in account management for socially disadvantaged people. The Savings Bank in Germany has a public contract to enable bank business who are socially disadvantaged. For a few years I’ve been advising people with large social problems in a variety of financial topics. I’ve worked with these people gladly, because most of them were thankful and friendly, particularly when they’ve noticed that I counter them in a respectful manner and consequently take their problems seriously or rather take care about it. These experiences had a large impact on me. While I was working in the Savings Bank I realized more and more that the possibility to help socially disadvantaged people within this occupation is rather limited, because the bank’s main goal is to make a profit and not to provide social help. At many points this status had dissatisfied me. Based on these experiences I want to volunteer.”
- Why do you want to volunteer with Precious Blood Volunteers?
“The Precious Blood concerns – grow in faith, seek reconciliation, walk with those who suffer and build community – are very important concerns for my life, too. I identify myself with it. In addition to this I always wanted to do a service for the society abroad after the years at the university before I’ll start my career as teacher in Germany. Furthermore I’ve been working as volunteer in my church community for about two years now. This experience encouraged me, too.”
- What are you looking forward to about your volunteer experience?
“I hope I can do good to others and gain sustainable experiences for my prospective life. For me it is going be a large change to move from Munich to Kansas City. I expect, that nearly everything will be new – and I’m looking forward to this. I’m sure, to become familiar with the American culture and to meet a variety of people from different cultures in a charitable environment will influence my life in a positive way. I’m sure, with God’s blessing it will be a great experience to be a Precious Blood Volunteer.”