Volunteer lifestyle

A volunteer works without pay and yet gains priceless experience.

Sandra Wriedt previously volunteered at the 2006 Football World Cup in her hometown of Düsseldorf. Since then, this very special voluntary work has never let her go, as she writes here. In the process, she has wonderful experiences, meets many new people, and helps with an event where competitors deserve a lot of respect and appreciation for their performance.

Out of curiosity about everything I didn’t know, I became an editor. Because I love languages and other countries, I trained as a foreign language correspondent. I’m interested in many things, but unfortunately as a journalist I can’t always report about them. Besides, my middle name is “Reise“, meaning “to travel”. When I get to know new places, new people, I am happy! And so, I considered how I could gather new experiences with as little trouble as possible and how I could help make sure that events take place and that lots of people besides me enjoy them. As a volunteer, so many opportunities are offered either in the local area or abroad, where a few days are already so personally rewarding that the wish for the next mission quickly appears.

Since choosing to be a volunteer, I’ve always noticed what great, positive people I’ve encountered through it. As a volunteer, I have already contributed to the 2006 Football World Cup, the Special Olympics and the Mud Masters. For me, it is important that I only have these rewarding volunteer experiences because I face the situation alone. Thanks to these events, “the world” comes visit me in “my” hometown of Düsseldorf, and as a volunteer I am very close to the people and to the event that lies ahead. There is no other person around to distract me from all the awesome people. No, I jump into the new situations all by myself, no one stops me!

At the same time, I get to know myself better and suddenly realize how brave I am! There is hardly any easier way for me to have great experiences in a protected space than as a volunteer. Both fellow volunteers and the local crew are uncomplicated, open, funny and the former are obviously similar to me in their ways. This altruistic and selfless wave length they have namely all: a wonderful character trait is therefore already there. Of course, also the different types of people from different nations that you can meet are fantastic. The volunteer positions – regardless of how many days they span – offer, in contrast to the “normal job”, a wonderfully relaxed and different, stimulating and tremendously informal working atmosphere. My heart swells when I have the opportunity to solve an unfamiliar task with cheerful people who have a similar motivation to mine. For the volunteers there are flat hierarchies, sympathy, help, support, and although everyone is unknown to me, I feel well taken care of and manage well in this relaxed and cordial atmosphere. In addition, people with disabilities are very close to my heart – even though I do not directly want to pursue a profession in social services.

At the INVICTUS GAMES DÜSSELDORF 2023 presented by Boeing, there are therefore many reasons why I wanted to be part of the volunteer team: the Games are held in my hometown, it is a sporting event…