A Two-Way Street
Volunteers are an important part of the Achilles community and take on numerous roles, such as:
- Helping disabled runners become familiar and proficient with special equipment
- Participating in weekly or bi-weekly workouts
- Providing guidance and running advice during races and marathon
- Helping out with race-day logistics.
While their general role is to accompany disabled runners during the course of a workout or race, on any given day an Achilles volunteer will function as a member’s eyes, ears, guide, and motivator. But ask any Achilles volunteer why they do it, and you’ll hear the same answer, over and over: they get back as much as they give, and more.
"Walking as a Volunteer with Achilles makes you a better person. The first time I walked with a visually impaired athlete during the Achilles Marathon in Prospect Park, she was able to tell me about the areas we were walking by. The birds and the open fields. I had the vision but missed what she heard by walking with me. I have learned to take better notice of the beauty in everyday life. We learn that you can accomplish whatever you want, there are only abilities no disabilities in life you just have to take advantage of them." - Achilles Volunteer
How to Volunteer
To become an Achilles volunteer you must complete a volunteer application form. Download a pdf of the paper form below and fax or mail it to us.
42 West 38th Street
*NYC VOLUNTEERS! Please click here to find out about all the local Achilles workouts and events!
This form is a General Volunteer Form. It is NOT a valid application for the ING NYC Marathon.
VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH
Achilles has some of the most amazing volunteers, many of whom have been with us for years! We want to recognize them here every month. To nominate someone, please email Fiona.
This month, we highlight volunteer Michael Kenney!
How and when did you first hear about Achilles?
I first learned about Achilles while running around the reservoir with my wife, Valerie. We would see Ben Simmons training. He was being filmed for a documentary one night and we heard he was running the marathon. At the marathon we saw him running along with all of the Achilles athletes. It was then I realized it would likely be an amazing organization to be involved with.
When did you first become a volunteer?
My first run guiding with Achilles was the Reindeer Romp in 2014.
What has that experience been like for you?
The experience has been great. At first it was about volunteering and helping people. Which it is, but really it just becomes having fun with friends. I have made more close friendships since getting involved with Achilles than I have in much of my life. I love my Achilles friends, both athletes and guides.
Describe one or two special memories being an Achilles volunteer.
I could list off a bunch of races, but the most special memories I have so far have been the times outside running. Hanging out and having coffee in the bakery after cold winter runs, or ice cream when it is hot. If it had to be while running, it would be the 18 and 20 mile runs with Jenny Hwang. Jenny would sing and had me laughing the whole way with her jokes. Running an ultra-marathon with Asim Baig gets an honorable mention. It was a really long day, but we had a blast. Asim decided to do it on one week’s notice.
Please name one or two athletes you have guided.
I have guided Jenny Hwang and Eleanor Chapman among others. I think the only distance I haven't run with Jenny is an ultra-marathon. I have run every distance with Eleanor up to the half-marathon distance. They are two of my favorite people. Me, Eleanor and Valerie run together every Wednesday night. It is the highlight of the week.
Is there anything you would like to bring to the public's attention about being a guide for Achilles?
If there was something I could bring to the public's attention it is that Achilles is one of the greatest charitable organizations on the planet. It isn't up for debate. Everyone should see it for themselves, whether it is Achilles NYC, Achilles Kids, Achilles Freedom Team or any of the other Achilles groups around the world.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I was born in Sussex County, N.J. I grew up in Byram N.J., and St Augustine Florida. I moved to the NYC area in 2000 to work at a boutique investment bank where I am an institutional equities trader. My interests lie in drinking wine, reading books, exploring and running marathons, ultra-marathons and triathlons.