Introducing the 2017-2018 Precious Blood Volunteers: Martin Echtler

2017-2018 Volunteer Martin Echtler

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 Bishop Sullivan Center 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.”

Bishop Sullivan Center

Precious Blood Volunteer, Martin Echtler, serving dinner at the Bishop Sullivan Center

The Bishop Sullivan Center’s mission is to provide basic necessities to people who are unable to do so, and to assist those who are able to become financially self-sufficient by finding employment. The Bishop Sullivan Center’s Troost location is located in the heart of Kansas City at 39th St. and Troost Ave. and provides food for those are hungry, assistance for those who need it, job training/placement for those looking for work, air conditioners for the elderly and emergency assistance. On weekday evenings the Bishop Sullivan Center hosts meals at their Community Kitchen where people can be nourished by food and community.
The Bishop Sullivan Center has two other locations in Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas. They are one of the largest distributors of food and emergency assistance in the Kansas City area.
As a Precious Blood Volunteer serving at the Bishop Sullivan Center you will have the opportunity to walk with and serve others in a variety of ways. They include supervising the community kitchen, working with the Kansas City Medicine Cabinet, helping out with the food pantry and assisting in their job placement/training program. This placement is for you if you are looking for a career in social services, non-profits or ministry.
You can learn more about the Bishop Sullivan Center by going to their website.
Read a reflection by former Precious Blood Volunteer, Nora O’Connell, about her experience at the Bishop Sullivan Center here.
You can apply to serve as a Precious Blood Volunteer at the Bishop Sullivan Center on our Apply Page.