I never thought that what started as a national voluntary service in Germany would arouse an innate passion to give to people in need during a crisis.
For many years, German men had to spend 15 months in the army after graduating from school or as volunteers for an equal period of community service for eight years. I have decided to work as a volunteer for the German Federal Agency for Technical Assistance (THW). THW is a public organisation that offers professional help to people in need.
I didn’t know this experience would be so useful that 23 years later, with the help of McAfee’s Volunteer Vacation Travel Allowance (VTA), I will spend most of my free time helping those who need the services of the THW.
Preparation of a contingency plan for the coronavirus
THW has been instrumental in providing urgently needed resources during the Coronavirus 2020 pandemic, including the establishment of mobile clinical testing stations nationwide and the provision of essential support services to protect the frontline from the virus.
When the hot phase of KOVID-19 reached Germany this spring, THW began preparations for the construction of temporary hospital facilities in case the virus threatened to overwhelm hospitals. Temporary camps are built from the ground up to house auxiliary blocks of 500 or more people.
During more than two decades of disaster relief training and exercises, I have been very familiar with the construction of these facilities. So I was not surprised when THW asked me to build a hospital together with the local fire brigade that would increase the capacity of the hospitals to treat infected patients.
We organised containers with showers and toilets, designed the infrastructure for the connection to the existing water supply, arranged the beds and mattresses and planned the necessary electricity needs. Volunteers helped transport materials and supplies to the site and assemble various hospital departments.
Developing a passion to help others
Volunteering at THW has become a passion over the years. Many of my best friends are involved in these efforts, which makes them even more useful.
The construction of the temporary camp is difficult and requires patience. The 12-hour days were paid for by taxpayers for two weeks, but it was worthwhile to contribute to the fight against KOVID-19.
The spirit of our small group and the others kept everyone motivated to reach our goal. Everyone did what they did best and people in other departments and organizations were willing to be as flexible as possible. I was proud to offer my training at THW to build a community.
Anyway, I couldn’t have helped without McAfee’s support. My colleagues and the manager led my projects together, which reflects the true team spirit.
There is no doubt that McAfee empowers its employees to become more actively involved in the community and provide help anytime, anywhere. This advantage makes it even more profitable to return the money to the company.
At McAfee, we encourage and support the efforts of our team members to make a difference in society. If you’re interested in being part of the McAfee team, we’d love to hear from you.
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